A team of Baltimore-based financial advisors with $200 million in assets under management and $2 million in annual production has jumped ship from Wells Fargo to join Raymond James’ independent broker-dealer channel, Raymond James announced Monday.

Certified financial planners Carolyn S. Meakem and Traci Meakem Richmond joined Raymond James in Bethesda, Md., according to Scott Curtis, president of Raymond James Financial Services, the firm’s IBD. The advisors have formed The Meakem Group, an independent firm, with securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services.

The mother-and-daughter team’s decision to affiliate with Raymond James is a testament to the firm’s broad platform and independent culture, Curtis said in a statement.

“We are pleased to welcome this exceptional team to Raymond James,” Curtis said. “These advisors are a great addition to our independent channel, as they bring years of experience and dedication to putting clients first.”

Mindy DiamondMindy Diamond (right), president and chief executive of Diamond Consultants, a recruiting firm in Chester, N.J., said the Meakem news signals that the move from wirehouse to independence is becoming more common.

“It doesn’t speak to anything being wrong or bad at Wells Fargo, by any means,” said Diamond, whose firm works with Raymond James. “It just speaks to the fact that more and more advisors are looking for greater autonomy and freedom, and for greater control over their professional destinies and bottom line. We’re watching more advisors leave the wirehouse world and go toward some version of independence.”

Meakem said that several factors went into the team’s decision to join Raymond James.

“Among the most significant were Raymond James’ respect for our relationship with our clients and the firm’s reputation for its client-first culture,” she said in a statement. “We are pleased to have found a home at Raymond James and that we will not have to go through another transition.”

The managing partner of the practice, Meakem is a 34-year industry veteran, and has worked at Ferris & Co., Legg Mason and Wachovia Securities. Her daughter, Richmond, is also a financial advisor and managing partner, holding a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst designation as well as a CFP. She joined her mother’s practice in 2006 after 10 years as a litigation attorney. 

The Meakem Group provides financial planning, investment management, estate preservation strategies, risk management, education planning and divorce planning.

Read Raymond James Makes Succession Planning Push With New Team for Advisors at AdvisorOne.