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Raymond James’ Semi-Indie Channel Grabs $700M Team From Wells Fargo

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Raymond James says it has recruited four advisors from Wells Fargo, where they managed about $700 million in client assets and had yearly fees and commissions of $3.8 million.

John Watts; Steuart Evans, Jr.; Russell Henshaw; and Bradford Flowers are joining the semi-independent channel of Raymond James – Advisor Select – from a similar channel at Wells Fargo Advisors, called Profit Formula.

Wells Fargo, recruiters say, is experiencing retention and recruiting issues tied in part to the fake-accounts scandal at its retail bank. Its headcount fell by 225 in the first quarter of 2017 to 14,657, after dropping by 204 in the final quarter of 2016.

“Their desire to remain W-2 employees while creating their own independent practice and maintaining control of their entire branch experience makes them a great fit for our independent-employee channel, Advisor Select,” said Chris Davitt, CFA, director of the channel, in a statement.

“We always look to partner with advisors whose top priorities are oriented around their clients’ best interests; and Evans, Watts, Henshaw and Flowers Wealth Management Group embodies our client-first philosophy,” Davitt added.

Watts began his financial-services career in 1988 at Morgan Keegan; Evans cut his teeth in the business at Robinson-Humphrey in 1991 where he joined his father in the business; Flowers got his start at Merrill Lynch in 1990, while Henshaw joined Dean Witter Reynolds in 1996.

“What really attracted us to Raymond James …was first and foremost the culture of the firm and secondly the ability to be very independent and in control of how we run our practice, but with the full employee benefits and administrative, back-office support,” explained Watts in a statement. “We wanted a firm which was advisor-centric as well as client-focused; a firm which respected its advisors and trusted them to do the right thing for their clients.”


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