Bill Van Law speaks at a Raymond James event in October 2017.

Raymond James says that Bill Van Law, president of the Investment Advisors Division, will be leaving the firm on April 2 to “pursue other personal and professional interests.”

Van Law, who has been leading Raymond James’ efforts to attract registered investment advisors, is a 15-year veteran with the firm, which is now searching for his replacement.

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“Bill has had significant impact on our Private Client Group businesses, including the growth and success of the Investment Advisors Division,” said Chairman & and CEO Paul Reilly. “We are grateful for his many contributions and wish him well with his future endeavors.”

Van Law joined Raymond James in 2003 after spending 18 years at Merrill Lynch (1984-2002), where he served in various leadership roles following a successful career as a financial advisor.

“It’s surprising news as he’s been there a long time,” said recruiter Jon Henschen of Henschen & Associates, in an interview. “He’s been well liked by other management, staff and advisors, and he’s very competent.”

At Raymond James, Van Law helped launch the Advisor Select division, serving as director of the firm’s employee Mid States Division as well as national director of business development.

“It’s been a privilege to work within Raymond James’ unique, client-first culture since joining in 2003,” said Van Law om a statement. “I am looking forward to time with my family before pursuing the next chapter in my life and career.”

RIA Growth

Raymond James’ Investment Advisors Division grew its assets under management by 36% in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2017, over the prior-year 12 months. Of the new firms joining it, 35% were active RIAs — not wirehouse breakaways, which had been the norm, according to Van Law.

The group, which hosted its 10th annual Wealth Managers Conference in October in Boca Raton, Florida, drew a crowd of nearly 400 RIAs and other guests, including about 50 representatives of prospective RIA firms.

“We recruit a good cross-section of the folks, and about two-thirds are breakaways,” Van Law said in an interview at the time. The other third are existing RIAs looking to change their custodian, “which was our biggest surprise following the relaunch of our RIA platform, a process we started about six years ago.”

Raymond James has “a broad full-service platform” and “understands organic and inorganic growth, so we help [RIAs] by making ourselves and our resources available,” he explained.

“I believe breakaways have reached a tipping point,” said Van Law. “And while the RIA model continues to attract advisors from the large national firms, the appeal of Raymond James is that it’s so much more than just a service provider or custodian, but a true partner to its RIAs.”

— Check out Raymond James Adds 2 Recruiters in West on ThinkAdvisor.