Raymond James (RJF) CEO Paul Reilly says he’s pleased to “declare the Morgan Keegan integration over.”
“We can talk about it forever, but they’re now part of the family,” Reilly said in an interview Tuesday during the Raymond James Women’s Symposium, taking place this week in St. Petersburg, Fla.
As for its next deal, “Our focus is not on acquisitions,” he said. “Morgan Keegan was unusual. Yes, our focus going forward might include a niche firm or two. But we have not identified any firm like Morgan Keegan with the same values, though there are some smaller ones there.”
Instead, the firm’s focus in on the aggressive recruiting of advisors “who share our values,” the executive says.
The Morgan Keegan deal (announced in early 2012 and fully combined onto one platform a year later) led to a slowdown in the parent company’s overall recruiting efforts last year, Reilly says, especially within its employee channel, Raymond James & Associates.
“Our first job was to focus on Morgan Keegan … and then we went to a product-neutral grid taking the best of both systems,” he shared.
But with “only so much time in the day,” recruiting slowed down, Reilly says, and this was true across the industry due to the bull market.
A few months ago, however, recruiting shot up. The independent channel, Raymond James Financial Services, “is having a good run and picking up more robust teams,” he said.
“Teams with $1 billion are not uncommon to see coming through the door. They view us as a viable platform,” explained Reilly.
Raymond James’ main appeal, he says, is that it’s still a value-based, friendly firm for advisors specifically looking for a firm that culturally feels like regional broker-dealer.
“We pay a lot less in transition assistance [than other firms], but it’s a fair price. We want them to be where they want to be” or not make the switch, Reilly stressed.