This week, the two largest firms with both affiliated and employee advisors – Ameriprise Financial (AMP) with about 9,750 and Raymond James (RJF) with about 7,150 reps – made it clear that they want to keep commissions on the table after April 10, 2017.
In late-October, Morgan Stanley said it, too, would continue to offer such options to clients and advisors, while Commonwealth Financial stated that it would end such retirement accounts – a move taken by Merrill Lynch earlier in the month.
For its part, Raymond James says it expects legal and regulatory expenses related to DOL and other regulations “to remain elevated,” according to CEO Paul Reilly during a conference call Thursday with equity analysts.
As for why the firm has chosen to maintain commission-based accounts, “We’ve been very clear from the beginning that our focus has been complying with the rule [and] giving the maximum flexibility for our advisors to serve our clients and have clients have choice,” Reilly explained. “So we fully expect to offer commission-based accounts … and comply with the rule.”
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Raymond James’ private-client operations include $574 billion assets of which $231 billion are held in fee-based accounts.