Tom James became CEO of Raymond James Financial in 1970, succeeding his father Bob, and held that role until 2010; he remains chairman, and remains highly active on the big-picture level for the company but also in recruiting new reps. Under his leadership, Raymond James not only built a successful public company, but also a big tent for advisors.
How successful? For the first six months of its fiscal year, Raymond James Financial posted $383 million in pretax income, an 11% increase over the prior year, on a 7% increase in net revenues to $2.54 billion, leading now CEO Paul Reilly to say the firm “had the strongest start ever to a first half of our fiscal year.”
How big? As of the end of March, the Raymond James Private Client Group, which includes both its employee FAs and independent contractor registered reps, rose to a record 6,384. Speaking during Raymond James’ national conference for its independent contractor reps in Las Vegas, Reilly pointed out that “a record number” of advisor prospects—72—were attending the conference. “Recruiting is robust,” he said, while existing RJ “advisors choose to stay here; our turnover is very low.”
Under the RJ umbrella, you can be an employee advisor, an independent contractor or a fully independent RIA. Long before other IBDs and even wirehouses discovered that giving their advisors a choice of affiliation was a good rep retention move, it was business as usual at Raymond James.