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Raymond James says some employee advisors looking to retire can now participate in a new succession program, Advisor Emeritus.

Financial advisors who qualify for the program can work as a consultant to the advisor receiving their book of business for up to two years prior to retirement and receive up to five years of payment post-retirement.

Advisor Emeritus is currently offered to employee advisors within Raymond James & Associates and its Alex. Brown division. It will be available for up to two years for “recognition club” level advisors and one year for other qualifying advisors.

“We continue to hear from advisors and potential recruits that the support Raymond James offers to advisors at all phases of their careers — from successors to retiring advisors — is a differentiator,” according to Tash Elwyn, president and CEO of Raymond James & Associates.

Raymond James has some 3,300 employee advisors and about 4,700 affiliated independent advisors.

Even for experienced advisors “the thought of retirement can be daunting administratively, financially and even emotionally,” according to Robert Goff, vice president of succession and acquisition planning. The new program can serve as “a structured pathway” to transitioning their book of business for both the advisors “themselves … and most importantly, their clients.”

In a statement, the firm explained: “Due to the employment structure of independent practices, the Advisor Emeritus framework can serve as a template for independent branch owners, with the Succession & Acquisition Planning team as a consultative resource for interested independent advisors.”

‘Aspiring Advisors’

Raymond James has rolled out a new program to train aspiring financial advisors and says it has attracted a diverse first group of participants.

Its two-year Wealth Management Associate Program (or WealthMAP) aims to introduce advisory work to those interested in exploring the career but not fully ready to join Raymond James’ advisor-training program, according to Matt Ransom, vice president of new FA development.

“There are many pathways into this profession, and we recognize that nontraditional candidates, … [like] those … changing careers, just graduating or … reentering the workforce, may appreciate a longer runway to gain more education and experience before entering a robust advisor training program … ,” said Ransom in a statement.

The inaugural class, which began the program last month, includes adults based in 20 branches. More than 70% of them are women or people of color, and over half of whom are from different professional fields or are recent graduates.

WealthMAP helps prepare candidates for the Series 7 and Series 66 exams and exposes them to financial planning via home-office training, branch and group coaching, and wealth planning and technology support, the firm says.

Successful graduates will transition immediately into Raymond James’ formal advisor training program, the Advisor Mastery Program.

“WealthMAP not only expands the candidate pool by attracting diverse talent to this industry, but also gives them more hands-on experience and preparation to build their confidence and chances of long-term success as advisors,” Ransom said.

In addition to WealthMAP, Raymond James offers a Registered Associate Mentoring Program for those who want to enter its Advisory Mastery Program.

“We have seen tremendous results with our advisor training programs, and we look forward to continuing to attract and prepare candidates for successful financial advisor careers through WealthMAP,” according to David Patchen, senior vice president of Private Client Group education and practice management.

“It’s important to us that our firm and profession evolve to meet quality candidates where they are and offer the personalized training to help them succeed,” Patchen added. “This program is another extension of our ongoing commitment to that.”

Janet Levaux is editor-in-chief of Investment Advisor. She can be reached at [email protected].