Janney Grabs Morgan Stanley Rep, Aims to Grow Advisor Headcount 5%

The firm has added 15 reps this year from Merrill, Oppenheimer, Morgan Keegan, Stifel and other broker-dealers

Janney Montgomery Scott said Wednesday that it hired Thomas Graham, a former Morgan Stanley advisor. Graham is the 15th advisor to join Janney this year.

Graham came on board as a senior vice president of wealth management in Washington. He was with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (MS) for nearly 20 years and is bringing more than $150 million in client assets and $1 million in yearly fees and commissions.

Other firms that have lost advisors to Janney this year include Merrill Lynch (BAC), Oppenheimer & Co., Stifel Financial, Morgan Keegan (RJF) and Dime Investment Services. The firm has about 725 employee advisors, mainly on the East Coast; it is part of Penn Mutual Life Insurance.

“We want to hire another 25 to 30 financial advisors this year,” said Jerry Lombard (left), president of the firm’s Philadelphia-based private client group, in an interview with AdvisorOne. “Longer term, we’d like to grow at a 5% clip per annum.”

As it brings wirehouse and other reps on board, Janney aims to hire those with at least $500,000 in annual production and $60 million in assets, as well as a clean compliance record and a “balanced book of business, in terms of the product mix” in the advisors’ assets under management, Lombard said.

“Our success this year is because of our strength and stability,” he added. “A lot of wirehouse advisors want to work in a more intimate setting, as long as the setting has all the planning, resources and other tools they need to serve the clients. And we are perfectly situated to offer them that mix.”

Still, the Janney executive admits that it’s tough to compete against the wirehouses when it comes to recruiting packages, and boutiques are adding pressure to the competitive landscape as well.

“The packages offered by the wirehouses are as high as they’ve ever been,” Lombard said. “We do no try to match that. But because of how we structure our retention deals—what advisors are able to obtain with us versus at the wirehouse, where some terms can be hard to reach—we think we come pretty close to and offer a more stable, better culture compared with some of the big shops.”

Plus, he adds, Janney is “well capitalized and can compete.”

“We’re still doing what we’ve done successfully for the past few decades and for 180 years—serve clients in a non-bureaucratic fashion,” Lombard said. “That’s appealing to those with organizations that are in the headlines for the wrong reasons.”

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