The Raymond James (RJF) employee-advisor channel said Tuesday that an advisor team joined it from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (MS) with about $118 million in client assets and $800,000 in yearly fees and commissions. The financial advisors moving to Raymond James & Associates are Tom Ford and Jeff Jones, who recently formed the Ford Jones Group in Peoria, Ill.
“I am happy to welcome this accomplished team to Raymond James,” said John Kuklenski, director of the North Central Division for Raymond James & Associates, the traditional employee broker-dealer of Raymond James Financial, in a press release. “The Ford Jones Group is a tremendous addition to the Raymond James family.”
There’s been plenty of movement this summer affecting advisors at Morgan Stanley, which is led by James Gorman (left). Last week, for instance, Raymond James recruited Robert D. Powell, Walter M. Urban and Tyler Mercer, who recently formed Alpha Capital Partners in Mount Laurel, N.J., away from the Wall Street firm. The team had previously managed $187 million in client assets and had annual fees and commissions of $1.45 million.
“The teams leaving Morgan Stanley are of all sizes,” said Danny Sarch, president of Leitner Sarch Consultants, an executive-search firm, in an interview with AdvisorOne. “Morgan Stanley is under siege, and this has been a consistent problem for 2012.”
There could be a slight pause in the outflow in mid-July, as some Morgan Stanley advisors’ technology is converted to a new system in some parts of the country, adds Sarch, who recruits for some of the wirehouse’s rivals. “Some may want to go before this, or they may wait until afterwards,” he said. “But the movement could be dramatic in the second part of the year.”
Morgan Stanley, though, says this opinion is incorrect. “Advisor attrition is at normal levels and we’re seeing a nice flow of incoming recruits from across the competition,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
Sarch argues, however, that the integration of the Morgan Stanley and Smith Barney brokers, technology issues, the centralization of decision making and other factors work against it. Plus, the firm was downgraded two notches on Thursday by credit-rating agency Moody’s, though that was not as bad as forecasted.