Washington Wealth Management (WWM) has hired Morgan Stanley veteran David Richman to serve as its market area director for Southern California, where it plans to open at least three new offices over the next 18 months.

Richman will be focused on attracting leading advisors to the firm and driving growth in Southern California, according to WWM.

San Diego-based WWM is an independent registered investment advisor that has increased assets under management from $100 million to $1 billion since 2011.

WWM officials said Richman’s hiring continues its success in attracting talented managers and advisors from wirehouses.

“We’ve proved it works and top wirehouse advisors and managers alike are taking notice,” WWM CEO Rob Bartenstein said in a statement. “Dave truly values the opportunity to actually build something that will help advisors grow their business.”

A 17-year veteran of the financial advisory industry, Richman served as a complex director for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in the Irvine and Pasadena, Calif. markets. Last year, the firm named him as one of its three national community service award winners.