Employee Channel Adding Biggest Teams Ever: Raymond James Exec

Broker-dealer says recruiting in West and Northeast now account for about one-third of recruited reps

Raymond James executives Michelle Lynch, Scott Curtis, Tash Elwyn, Terry Hetherington and Bill Van Law at the '15 Women's Symposium. Raymond James executives Michelle Lynch, Scott Curtis, Tash Elwyn, Terry Hetherington and Bill Van Law at the '15 Women's Symposium.

Raymond James Financial (RJF) just ended its 2015 fiscal year, and the head of its employee-advisor channel says the group has much to celebrate.

Overall, the recruiting results within Raymond James & Associates “were strong … and reflect another year of significant movement … and three of the largest teams ever in Raymond James & Associates’ history were recruited in the past fiscal year ending Sept. 30,” said Tash Elwyn, who leads the channel, in an interview with ThinkAdvisor on Thursday during the Raymond James’ 21st annual Women’s Symposium in St. Petersburg, Florida.

One team, the Americas Group, has about $2.4 billion in assets (both retail and institutional), and moved to the firm from Morgan Stanley (MS).

The other top groups that came on board are Quattuor Capital Partners in New York, which has about $900 million in assets and previously worked for JPMorgan (JPM), and the Spanos Group of Beaver, Pennsylvania, which was previously with Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC) and has about $535 million of assets.

(This year’s Women’s Symposium includes more than 300 female advisors with Raymond James (RJF), about 200 guests and 23 prospective female registered reps from other broker-dealers – several of whom have committed to move to Raymond James, according to Michelle Lynch, head of the Network for Women Advisors.

This fiscal year, the recruiting news for the company’s employee channel could be good again.

“I recently got a call from a big team that looked at us four years ago but was not fully convinced yet of our support, technology and infrastructure …” Elwyn explained. “But now, Raymond James can convince them, since we excel and support teams of their caliber – with three of the biggest teams ever recruited coming on board. We expect these calls to continue.”

Geographic Twist

One reason Raymond James & Associates may pick up more teams this fiscal year is its emphasis on geographic markets that “are newer for us,” the executive said.

“There are more advisors from Baltimore to New York … than in the rest of the country, and RJA is underrepresented," he said. "It’s the same on the West Coast, where there is a large number of affluent clients.” 

About one-third of RJA recruits are from these two markets.

Another factor driving the recruiting momentum has to do with broader industry shifts.

“The industry continues to consolidate, and employee advisors elsewhere are seeking a return to the best of both worlds," Elwyn said, "meaning access to a depth of resources that can be paired with a culture that is what they grew up with and are [still] looking for – where people know who you are.”

--- Check out Raymond James Hosts 21st Women’s Symposium on ThinkAdvisor.

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Raymond James Hosts 21st Women’s Symposium

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