April 4, 2012

Raymond James Taps Former Morgan Keegan CEO to Lead Fixed-Income Group

Post-merger, company names new executives, cuts 218 jobs

Raymond James (RJF) set up the leadership team for Raymond James Morgan Keegan’s fixed-income and capital markets group on Tuesday, following the wrap-up on Monday of the firm’s acquisition of Morgan Keegan. The firm cut 218 jobs as part of the reorganization.

The group will be led by John Carson Jr., former CEO of Morgan Keegan. Kevin Giddis, previously president of fixed-income capital markets for Morgan Keegan, will lead the fixed-income unit for the new entity.

Another former Morgan Keegan executive, Robert A. Baird, is set to serve as head of public finance. James Sickling, who has led the institutional taxable fixed-income trading desk at Raymond James since 1993, is now the fixed-income COO.

“I am pleased with the leadership team that has resulted from our integration efforts,” said Raymond James CEO Paul Reilly (left), in a press release. “I’m confident that the combination of our two firms will grow an even more formidable franchise.”

Carson was appointed CEO of Morgan Keegan & Co. in March 2008, after joining the firm in 1994. Giddis came to Morgan Keegan in 1998 to lead its retail fixed income trading desk, and Baird joined the firm in 1979 as a public finance investment banker.

The two firms eliminated 218 jobs, mainly in the equity capital markets and fixed-income groups, in offices nationwide, said Steve Hollister, Raymond James' public relations manager. About two-thirds of the cuts came from the Morgan Keegan side. Hollister said in a statement that laid-off employees were treated fairly and that the firm would "continue to work through a deliberate process to ensure we maintain the highest client service levels."

Under Baird’s leadership, Morgan Keegan consistently ranked as one of the leading senior managers of long-term municipal issues in the nation, according to Raymond James.

Following the $1.2 billion acquisition of Morgan Keegan from Regions (RF)—which was announced in January—Raymond James now has about 6,500 financial advisors in the United States, Canada and overseas who administer about $372 billion of assets.

Other appointments include:

  • John Forney and Gavin Murrey are co-associate heads of public finance.
  • Bill Specht and Steve Lawrence are co-heads of fixed-income sales for the combined organization.
  • Reporting to Larence, Mat Parker is sales manager for depository accounts; Jim Breitman is sales manager for insurance and investment manager accounts; John Hirt is sales manager for public funds accounts; Bob McEwan is sales manager of the rookie sales program; and Chris Boudreau and Ted Hynes serve as co-sales managers for the designated municipal group.
  • Calvin Sullivan serves as chief strategy officer, responsible for directing the division’s strategic planning and development efforts.
  • Horace Carter is head of fixed-income trading.
  • Terry Robertson serves as director of fixed-income research. Overseeing the group’s efforts under Robertson are Dodd Williams, SJ Guzzo and John Richardson.
  • Howard Benz is director of the portfolio-strategies group, a newly-created department tasked with providing portfolio-level analysis and recommendations to our fixed income clients.
  • Tom Snyder is the head of fixed-income sales & trading operations, with Bob Howley overseeing middle office functions.
  • Girish Lulla is director of fixed-income technology.
  • Chris Perkins serves as head of mortgage-backed securities trading.
  • Bill Mueller and Joe Larizza serve as co-heads of government/agency trading.
  • Will Watts is head of corporate trading.
  • Brian Linde serves as head of structured-products trading, an operation comprising ABS (including non-agency RMBS and CMBS) and derivatives.
  • Rick Spell is head of whole-loan trading, with Scott Thomas managing the combined organization’s SBA trading activities.
  • Jonathan Nordstrom serves as head of municipal products, with Peter Delahunt responsible for overseeing municipal trading, and
  • Ernie DiLorenzo is head of CD trading.
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