Abbot Downing has opened a new office at the Wells Fargo Plaza in Houston, as the firm expands its staff to serve its growing Houston business.

Karl Farmer, a 20-year veteran in financial services who most recently served as senior portfolio manager at BBVA Compass, has joined Abbot Downing as portfolio manager. Abbot Downing, with US$35 billion in client assets and a 40-year history serving ultra-high-net-worth clients, is part of Wells Fargo’s Wealth, Brokerage and Retirement group, a leading US wealth manager, with US$1.4 trillion in client assets.

At BBVA Compass, Farmer designed, implemented and monitored investment solutions for high-net-worth individuals, families and foundations. He was previously a portfolio manager and equity analyst at Invesco Aim in Houston.

Prior to that, he worked as an equity analyst for Greenlight Capital in New York. He began his career with William M. Mercer, as an analyst in Fort Worth. A Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Farmer is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a master’s degree in business administration, and Texas A&M University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics.

He joins Abbot Downing in its new location at 1000 Louisiana St., which also houses businesses that Abbot Downing works closely with, such as Wells Fargo’s Regional Commercial Banking Office, The Private Bank, and the Energy Group of Wells Fargo Securities.

Mike Casey, Midwest regional managing director of Abbot Downing, said: "Clients across the country have responded very favorably to Abbot Downing and we’re excited to be expanding in Texas. In our brand research, people told us they wanted an integrated offering of services combined with a high-touch client service experience. Successful individuals and families are looking for advice to help them use their wealth to positively impact their families and their communities."

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Farmer will work closely with an Abbot Downing team of professionals who provide planning and family dynamics services, asset management, private banking, trust, fiduciary and administrative services.

He is a member of the CFA Society of Houston and has served as a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. For the past six years, he and his family have been one of the top fund-raising teams in Houston for Autism Speaks.