March 27, 2002

Cradle to Grave

Raymond James Financial's new president sets some

Chester B. Helck, new president and COO of Raymond James Financial, has some lofty goals in mind for the company he now leads. One of those goals is to be sure that Raymond James is "the one place that everyone would like to be." One way the company can do this, says Helck, is by being the kind of firm that advisors don't outgrow.

He points out that through its division Raymond James and Associates, his company provides "a turnkey support system for people who don't want to negotiate leases and hire support staff." This division hires planners, offers them training through Raymond James University, where employees learn the business; and retail branch offices with managers for mentoring.

Then, says Helck, there's Raymond James Financial Services, his particular area of expertise. This part of the company is the mainstay of independent contractors more interested in autonomy. There's also the fee-only advisor program, and a correspondent clearing arrangement. One more channel is yet to come, says Helck, although he is not currently at liberty to say what it is. Rollout, he says, should come later this year.

Helck says his main goal is for Raymond James to become recognized as the best firm in the business; he also promises that the company will never compete with its affiliated advisors by going after clients directly.

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