In a push to expand its presence in Washington, D.C, and Richmond, Va., Wilmington Trust has tapped industry veteran William T. LaFond to head up its wealth advisory business in the Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Va. markets.  In addition, it hired four wealth advisors, all from Wells Fargo Private Bank, to serve high-net-worth clients in the region, the company announced late Tuesday.

LaFond, formerly managing director of business development for Wilmington Trust’s Family Wealth group, has more than 15 years of experience in investment management and financial planning. He most recently oversaw a team of wealth specialists in Delaware, the company said in a statement.

The new team incorporates the advisors and other professionals who had been members of the M&T Bank wealth management group, LaFond said in an interview. M&T Bank and Wilmington Trust merged last May. The new group, rebranded under the Wilmington Trust umbrella, has a total of 12 people, Lafond said.

Prior to joining Wilmington Trust in 2004, LaFond advised high-net-worth clients and their families as a vice president and financial planner with U.S. Trust Co. of New York.

“Under Bill’s leadership we will continue our commitment to growing and investing in our wealth advisory business in this market,” Mark Graham, executive vice president and head of Wilmington Trust’s Wealth Advisory, said in a statement.

The new senior wealth advisors hired to the D.C. team are Al Behar, vice president and senior private client fiduciary advisor; Bruce Hoffmeister, vice president and senior financial planner; Eric Schoener, vice president and senior private client advisor; and Jast Sohi, vice president and senior private banker.

Behar joins Wilmington Trust with more than 27 years of wealth management experience, the company said. Prior to Wells Fargo Private Bank, where he was senior trust and fiduciary advisor, Behar worked for UBS Trust Co., Wachovia Trust Co. and Riggs & Co.

Hoffmeister has more than 26 years of financial services experience, specializing in estate planning, wealth management, and tax planning.  Prior to Wells Fargo Private Bank, he served as a partner with Washington, D.C., firm Feldesman, Tucker, Leifer, Fidell LLP. 

Schoener brings more than 18 years of financial services experience to his position, according to the company. Prior to joining Wilmington Trust, he held senior positions with Wells Fargo Private Bank, U.S. Trust, and Charles Schwab.

Sohi, a 25-year veteran of the financial service industry, served as senior private banker at Wells Fargo Private Bank, providing investment management, financial planning and trust services to high-net-worth clients. Earlier in his career, he worked for U.S. Trust, First Union Bank, Perpetual Savings Bank, and Federal Home Loan Bank of America in various roles.

Wilmington Trust Wealth Advisory provides personal trust, financial planning, fiduciary, asset management, and family office services for high-net-worth individuals and families. It maintains offices throughout the United States and focuses on serving families across multiple generations, the company said. Wilmington Trust is a wholly owned subsidiary of M&T Bank.