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Missouri Secretary of State's office

Updated Jan. 23 with Ashcroft statement Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft is coming to the defense of David Minnick, his appointee to head the division of securities

Minnick has been under fire from Democrats in the legislature because he now heads the office that’s investigating his former employer, Stifel Financial Corps, for “undisclosed allegations.”

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Updated 4:02 p.m.:

Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. has released a statement regarding the complaint, read the full text here.

The federal Securities and Exchange Commission has charged a St. Louis brokerage firm and a former executive with defrauding five Wisconsin school districts by selling them risky investments funded mainly with borrowed money.

The SEC complaint against Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. and former Senior Vice President David Noack was filed in federal court in Milwaukee Wednesday.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 13, 2008 - In a deteriorating economy, there's good news and bad news for investors in St. Louis bank stocks.

The bad news is that most of these stocks have declined for the 12 months that ended Oct. 10. The good news is that they have done better -- or, rather, less worse -- than the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index (down 42 percent) and the S&P Banking Index of larger banks (down 59 percent).

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 20, 2008 - When Wachovia Corp. bought A.G. Edwards last year, many financial analysts said the deal reflected another major step in the extinction of regional brokerages.

A.G. Edwards' management and stockholders decided that independence was strategically insupportable, but other St. Louis brokerages still embrace their freedom.