(Saint Petersburg, Fla.) Raymond James hosted its 15th annual Women’s Symposium from September 30- October 2 with about 100 of its 640 female advisors attending.
“We want to focus on how our women advisors are handling the market and their clients, and on what is working now for them to make a difference for clients,” says Karen Schultz, director of the Raymond James Network for Women Advisors.
One presenter, Danielle Page of Raymond James & Associates (the firm’s traditional employee channel) in Philadelphia, described what she has done to improve her fee-based business, client base and her overall business processes since coming over from UBS 18 months ago, shortly before the financial crisis hit.
Kathy Muldoon of Dallas, an independent advisor in Raymond James Financial Services, said she moved “to call clients before they called us” during the downturn. And in 2009, discussions with clients focused on revisiting their financial plans, revealing their risk tolerance and spending. “Our role as financial counselors is not going away,” Muldoon shares.
Raymond James executives agree. “The world now really recognizes the value of financial advice and there’s a renewed appreciation and demand for it,” says Raymond James Financial COO Chet Helck. “Clients are telling advisors and they are telling us, “I want someone who will pay attention to me and give me a lot of help and consideration … based on my situation, not a cookie-cutter approach.”
At the end of August, the firm included 5,300-plus advisors with close to 2 million accounts and $215 billion in assets in the United States, Canada and overseas. “And the fiscal year ending September 30 was by far the most prolific recruiting year we’ve ever had,” Helck adds.
For instance, RJ&A now has 1,280 FAs, after hiring about 220 advisors with some $105 million in sales commissions and fees over the past 12 months, according to Dennis Zank, RJ&A’s president. And 190 of these advisors have been hired to work in existing branches. Most are joining from the wirehouse firms, he adds.
The ratio of client accounts coming into RJ&A vs. departing has been four to one, Zank notes, with some 75,000 accounts coming over to RJ&A. In addition, advisors have boosted assets under management by 5 percent.