Raymond James (RJF) is seeing continued growth in its RIA custody unit, the Investment Advisors Division, and during its IAD annual conference announced two big enhancements to its RIA offerings: Hearsay Social’s social-media platform and 120 no-transaction-fee ETFs.
Bill Van Law, president of the IAD, said that in the quarter ended Sept. 30, the unit attracted three RIA firms with more than $500 million in client assets, giving it a total of about 110 RIA firms and $10 billion in custodied assets. Speaking at the IAD’s recent three-day national conference in St. Pete Beach, Florida, which drew 120 advisors and 38 prospective clients, Van Law said the growth numbers are “very representative of our momentum since the relaunch of the channel last September.” Van Law said that attendance at the conference rose about 40% from last year, while the number of prospects “is up significantly from eight prospective advisors a year ago.”
The Raymond James executive anticipates that three more RIAs could affiliate with the channel this quarter and that the next six months or so should bring “a significant increase” in affiliation. In the past nine months, he says, more than 100 advisors have visited the firm to discuss affiliation.
Those considering joining IAD constitute a mix of advisors at wirehouse firms, independent contractor groups “looking to take the next step toward the RIA platform” and “some wanting to leave their existing RIA” custodian, according to Van Law. “We expected strong interest from the wirehouse advisors, but the number of advisors visiting from existing RIAs—about half—is really a nice, positive surprise. It reinforces how our value proposition is resonating in the marketplace.”
Raymond James-affiliated RIAs are set to have access to Hearsay Social’s social-media platform and a library of pre-approved content. They also can use their own content in conjunction with Hearsay Social’s compliance and archiving tool.
Its affiliated RIAs will also have access to 120 ETFs without transaction fees, including funds from First Trust, ALPS Advisors, AdvisorShares and Greenhaven, by Nov. 1. In addition, RIAs can take advantage of additional enhancements to the firm’s platform, including its five-member succession planning and acquisition team.