To focus resources on its existing qualifying RIAs and attract additional, higher-level advisors, Raymond James Financial Services’ Investment Advisors Division (RJFS-IAD) says it is raising the minimum level of assets under management for new RIA affiliations from $30 million to $50 million as of the start of its 2010 fiscal year, which began October 1. According to Mike Di Girolamo, senior VP and managing director responsible for the division, “We are dedicated to providing RIAs superior service and a resource-rich platform, neither of which are inexpensive. It makes strategic sense to limit access to advisors at the top of the profession–for both the firm and those who affiliate with us.” Breakaway advisors, Di Girolamo said, “want to know who their peers will be and want only to work with those who are at least as successful or more. It’s similar to a golf game–you only improve your game by playing with golfers who are at the top of theirs.” For incentive, Raymond James says it has re-introduced its Asset Builder Program. Under the plan, which will run for six months from October 15, Raymond James will absorb the transaction charges for the first three months or 30 trades, whichever comes first, after an account is open. This applies to new accounts greater than $250,000 brought to Raymond James; ACAT fees up to $100 are waived for accounts valued greater than $500,000. RJFS-IAD also recently announced an E&O insurance program for IAD-affiliated advisors through Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
On November 9, LPL Financial reported a net loss of $1 million for the third quarter of 2009, compared to net income of $17 million in 2008′s third quarter, on a 12% revenue decline to $702 million. For the first nine months of the year, the largest independent broker/dealer saw net income decline 33% to $29 million on a 17% decline in revenue to $2.0 billion. However, LPL said the decline in nine-month net was “primarily” due to $25 million in after-tax charges relating to the September move of LPL’s affiliated broker/dealers onto its self-clearing platform. Absent those charges, LPL said non-GAAP net income would have been $54 million for the nine-month period. As of September 30, 2009, LPL counted 12,027 representatives–up from 11, 667 at the same time in 2008, with $268.9 billion in assets under management.