Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, a New York-based brokerage firm, opened an office in Baltimore yesterday and hired a key executive from Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown to run the operation.
William F. Rienhoff IV, a former Alex. Brown managing director, left that company Wednesday to join Donaldson Lufkin as the production and sales manager of the new office, said Catherine Conroy, a spokeswoman for the company.
Rienhoff headed Alex. Brown's flagship brokerage office downtown for about 11 years before stepping down from the position in June.
Conroy said Donaldson Lufkin, which has 12 offices across the country and 400 brokers, plans to hire as many as 20 brokers in Baltimore.
Thomas Schweizer Jr., head of retail sales at Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown, said through a spokeswoman that Rienhoff "contributed a great deal" to the firm, and he wished him well. He could not be reached for further comment.
Rienhoff, 47, declined to comment.
Rienhoff is the latest to defect from Alex. Brown, which has lost scores of brokers, traders and top executives since it was acquired by Bankers Trust Corp. in September 1997.
The departures of key employees have continued even after Bankers Trust was bought by Germany's Deutsche Bank AG in November.
In June, four managers of Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown's health care investment unit quit to form a Baltimore office for Credit Suisse First Boston, taking dozens of analysts and support staff with them.
The same month, the head of Alex. Brown's trading operations took early retirement, and two of the firm's top traders resigned to take jobs with First Union Capital Markets in Baltimore.
In May, 19 Alex. Brown employees in the firm's Annapolis office, including 10 brokers, joined Tucker Anthony Inc., forcing Alex. Brown to close the high-producing office.
And in March, Bruce H. Brandaleone, head of the equity sales and trading division, resigned. Clinton R. Daly assumed part of Brandaleone's responsibilities, and was named head of U.S. institutional equity sales.
Daly, however, also left Alex. Brown and joined First Union Capital Markets on Sept. 1 as managing director and head of institutional sales in Baltimore.
People who know Rienhoff said he was well-liked at Alex. Brown, and he brought in a lot of business.
"It is a great, great loss for Brown," said James D. Hardesty, president of Hardesty Capital Management Inc., who has known Rienhoff for about two decades. "He is very good at what he does."
A broker who worked with Rienhoff said he was a "big deal" at Alex. Brown.