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Raymond James to Acquire Private Equity Advisor Cebile

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What You Need to Know

  • The transaction continues the firm’s strategic growth in its investment banking capabilities and follows its recent acquisition of Financo.
  • Raymond James also launched a new application for advisors.
  • The firm also picked up an advisor team from Wells Fargo.

Raymond James Financial has reached an agreement to acquire Cebile Capital, a private fund placement agent and secondary market advisor to private equity firms, Raymond James said on Tuesday.

The acquisition continues the firm’s strategic growth in its investment banking capabilities, both domestically and internationally, it said. In December, Raymond James announced the acquisition of Financo, a consumer-focused boutique investment bank that, like Cebile, has offices in London and New York. That was announced a week after Raymond James said it planned to buy the retirement plan administrator NWPS.

Raymond James didn’t specify how much it is paying for Cebile. The purchase is subject to regulatory and other closing conditions, Raymond James said. The deal will close in the third quarter this year, it said Wednesday.

Raymond James has been studying the fund placement and secondaries market for a while, with an interest in entering the market, and it approached Cebile when it saw announced transactions where Cebile was the advisor to private equity firms that are good clients and prospects of Raymond James, according to Jim Bunn, president of global equities and investment banking at Raymond James.

The addition of Cebile to the Raymond James Investment Banking division will deepen relationships it has with the private equity community and expand the related service offerings to include fund placements, general partner-led secondaries capabilities and limited partner-led secondaries advisory, a “rapidly expanding market,” it said.

Cebile will operate as a new business unit within Raymond James Investment Banking and will be led by Cebile founder Sunaina Sinha Haldea. It will continue to serve leading middle-market PE and private capital firms and their LPs in the United States, Europe and elsewhere, it said.

“Our similar cultures, commitment to client-first values and shared focus on the middle-market make this an ideal opportunity to add an additional service offering to our PE clients who, like Raymond James, are constantly looking to provide value and growth for their investors,” according to Paul Reilly, Raymond James chairman and CEO.

The acquisition reflects Raymond James’ emphasis on expanding its investment banking business, and also represents its “entrance into providing capabilities such as private fund placements and secondary market advisory to PE firms,” it said.

Raymond James has about 8,300 financial advisors and total client assets of $1.13 trillion, it said.

New Raymond James Advisor Tool

Separately, Raymond James plans to introduce a new application to assist financial advisors with communicating more holistic, customized offerings with prospective and current clients, it said.

The new application demonstrates the firm’s commitment to supporting financial advisors through innovative technology and its continued investment in the platform, according to Vin Campagnoli, its chief information officer.

The new technology tool has been in pilot testing and will roll out to Raymond James advisors starting this summer, the company said. The tool “goes beyond traditional investment plan creation, enabling advisors to quickly and easily present clients with their unique offering — from their background, niche expertise and financial planning process, to how they can best serve clients through customized investment models,” the company said.

The new tool is the latest addition to its wealth management technology suite. From planning and research to execution and reporting, the platform provides a wide range of integrated capabilities from one convenient application. It was designed with input and feedback from Raymond James advisors, the company said.

The tool is fully customizable, incorporates advisors’ branding and helps them share their story and process, it said. In addition to providing sophisticated investment data analysis, the tool also packages a prospect’s, referral’s or client’s portfolio and proposed investment changes into a client presentation in just a few clicks, it said. That new capability will save advisors hours of time, Raymond James added.

New Advisor Team Recruited

Raymond James also said it nabbed an advisor team from Wells Fargo that has joined Raymond James & Associates, its employee advisor channel, in Augusta, Georgia.

The advisors joining Raymond James are Martin Ferrara, James “Bubba” Helton Jr., Justin Preissler and James McGee, who managed more than $468 million in client assets at the wirehouse, Raymond James said. Together, they now operate as Cypress Wealth Group of Raymond James.

Wells Fargo declined to comment Tuesday on losing the advisor team.

Ferrara, first vice president, investments, has been in the financial services industry since 1981, when he started at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Bank. He worked at Morgan Keegan and Wachovia Securities, which later became Wells Fargo Advisors, before joining Raymond James.

Helton has been an advisor for more than 20 years, starting his career with J.C. Bradford & Co. He was with Wells Fargo since 2008 and also served as an advisor with firms including UBS PaineWebber.

Before joining Raymond James, Preissler, first vice president, investments, spent more than two decades as an advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors and its predecessor firms.

And McGee, vice president, investments, had been an advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors since 2012, according to his report on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s BrokerCheck website.