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Tash Elwyn, president and CEO, Raymond James and Associates

Industry Spotlight > Advisors

Raymond James Creates Advisor Network for Veterans

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What You Need to Know

  • Raymond James has created a Veteran Financial Advisors Network as part of its Advisor Inclusion Networks.

Raymond James has started a Veteran Financial Advisors Network as part of its Advisor Inclusion Networks.

VFAN was previewed at the company’s recent Summer Development Conference in Orlando, Florida, and will officially launch this fall, in conjunction with Veterans Day, Tash Elwyn, CEO and president of Raymond James & Associates, told ThinkAdvisor in a phone interview on Friday.

The new network’s “primary goal is to continue to enhance the professional development and support of veterans that are already a part of our Raymond James family,” he explained.

“Beyond that, a secondary objective is to attract other military veterans to join Raymond James, whether it’s as home office associates in a variety of different roles and capacities or to attract them to Raymond James, either as experienced financial advisors that are attracted to the values of our firm or as new entrants into the profession,” he said.

It is “very intentional that the focus first, as always at Raymond James, is on how do we continue to support and add value and retain those that are already a part of the Raymond James family,” he explained. That is because “I really believe that the most important foundation for growth is the retention of those that are already a part of the Raymond James family,” he said.

This isn’t the first Raymond James network for veterans. The company has already “celebrated and honored the service and the sacrifices” of military veterans, as well as their families, “largely through” the Raymond James National Veterans Inclusion Network (also known as Valor) at the firm’s home office in Florida, offices in Tennessee and Michigan and its technology center in Colorado, Elwyn noted.

Valor has been a way for the firm to “demonstrate for many years now our commitment to providing opportunities for veterans within our firm to gather together, to honor their service to support them through additional professional development opportunities [and a way] to organize a lot of our philanthropic and volunteer efforts on behalf of the firm and our associates in support of veterans-focused philanthropies throughout the country,” he told ThinkAdvisor.

VFAN was designed to “complement” those initiatives by helping to “provide additional support and professional development opportunities to veterans as well as military veterans who are transitioning from having served the country into their professional careers,” he added.

Top Advisor Concerns

There are, meanwhile, three top concerns for Raymond James advisors across the board now, Elwyn also said.

“I think our advisors are most focused right now and most importantly on the market volatility and how that’s potentially impacting their clients both short term and long term,” he pointed out.

“Advisors are also certainly focused on the regulatory environment, as well as how to ensure that they’re continuing to leverage to the best of their ability” the “continued technology innovations at Raymond James, the depth of the resources [and] the intellectual capital — everything that the firm has to offer in support of their clients and their business,” he said.

The firm is investing about $500 million in technology during fiscal 2022, Paul Reilly, Raymond James Financial CEO, said during the Elevate national conference in Nashville, Tennessee in May.

The firm “invested a lot in technology in the last decade” since he became CEO, Reilly pointed out.

Recruiting Efforts

The firm also continues to see strong interest in Raymond James from advisors “across the entire spectrum of affiliation options,” Elwyn told ThinkAdvisor Friday.

“We continue, as we have for many years now, to see very strong interest from [advisors at] the national firms in joining Raymond James and then, in addition to that, interest continues to be strong” among advisors “with a number of regional firms as well,” he said.

“It may be somewhat rotational, if you will, in terms of which one or two national firms may be creating the most recruiting momentum for Raymond James at any given time,” from year to year, he added, noting the national firms he’s referring to include the wirehouses and large broker-dealers.

Q3 Advisor Update

In announcing its results last week for the third quarter ended June 30, the firm said Private Client Group ended the quarter with 8,616 financial advisors, up 203 from June 2021 but down 114 from March 2022.

That reflected the transfer of 188 advisors during the quarter, mainly from one firm, to its RIA & Custody Services division, where advisors are not included in the advisor count but client assets are generally retained, the company said. Adjusting for those transfers, the number of advisors increased by 74 over the preceding quarter, it added.