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Hagerstown Financial adviser named one of top 40 younger than 40

Brendan Fitzsimmons attributes his success to his family, clients and colleagues

Brendan Fitzsimmons attributes his success to his family, clients and colleagues

February 03, 2008|By JILLIAN E. KESNER

HAGERSTOWN -- His education is in music history, but a strong interest in the stock market doing personal stocks on his own launched Brendan Fitzsimmons into the financial field and ultimately landed him among On Wall Street magazine's Top Advisors Under 40.

Fitzsimmons, who is a senior vice president with Ferris, Baker Watts Inc. and manager of the Hagerstown branch, says he was always interested in the stock market because of his father and grandfather. He studied music history at Swarthmore and holds a master's degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"I'm very proud of the award but also very humbled by it," Fitzsimmons said. "It is due to help from others. You don't achieve anything in life on your own but from the opportunities life hands you."

Before coming to Ferris, Baker Watts Inc., Fitzsimmons worked with his father-in-law in commercial real estate. It was a phone call from then-broker John Hershey - now Fitzsimmons' business partner - that gave him the opportunity to get into the field. Hershey and Fitzsimmons established the Hershey-Fitzsimmons Group in 2001. They are a team within Ferris, Baker Watts Inc. and work together to manage accounts.

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"I received a phone call from John asking me to come work with him at Ferris, and at first I didn't think he was serious," Fitzsimmons said.

Fitzsimmons, 37, originally of New Orleans, was nominated for the second annual list of Top Advisors Under 40 by his boss, Patrick Vaughn, director of the private client group for Ferris, Baker Watts Inc. Criteria for the award meant that representatives were free of compliance problems, offered comprehensive financial-planning and wealth-management services, and generated 50 percent of their revenues from fee-based accounts.

Fitzsimmons is a bright and energetic broker, Vaughn said. "He is someone you would want your mother's money managed by."

The magazine selected registered representatives from the five national wirehouses and 10 of the largest regional firms, which included Ferris, Baker Watts Inc.

Fitzsimmons is one of three advisers from Ferris, Baker Watts that made the list. Others include Frank Dingle of the Baltimore branch and Derek Ehman of Hunt Valley.

"Brendan is extremely active in the community and is well-deserving of this recognition," Hershey said.

Fitzsimmons is on the boards of Antietam Health Services and the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, where he is chairman of the development committee.

"People don't understand how important the arts are," Fitzsimmons said. "Arts create incentives for people moving to the area; it's an economic driver."

"Music has always been a great love," Fitzsimmons said. "Everyone needs an outlet and music has certainly been one of those."

Fitzsimmons said that when it comes to business, he always makes decisions based on what is best for his clients.

"It has been great to work alongside him for the last seven years," Hershey said. "He has been able to build great levels of trust with his clients and has great success cultivating high-net-worth relationships."

Fitzsimmons attributes his success to three things; his family, his clients and his colleagues.

"My family puts up with a lot of late hours," Fitzsimmons said. "My colleagues have lots of experience. They come up with a lot of good ideas and give those ideas to our clients."

Fitzsimmons' family entered his life while he was working toward a doctorate at Chapel Hill, where he met his wife of 12 years, Katie. They moved to Williamsport to be closer to her family.

Fitzsimmons and his wife, who has a degree in vocal performance, have two children, Barbara, 8, and Dalton, 6.

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