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Scott Curtis of Raymond James

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How Raymond James Wants to Help Advisors Up Their HNW Game

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Raymond James’ new Private Wealth Advisor Program should boost its market share of high-net-worth and ultra-high net worth clients, according to Scott Curtis, president of the Private Client Group at Raymond James.

Speaking to reporters virtually from the company’s recent Women’s Symposium in Tampa, Florida, Curtis said “when we looked at our overall market share of wealth in the U.S. what we identified as an opportunity to increase our market share in the high-net-worth/ultra-high-net-worth space, relative to our share of overall wealth in the U.S., was slightly higher.” 

The firm, which has had resources to support HNW and UHNW client relationships “for a number of years,” then decided to launch a new initiative and “put advisors who opt in … through an education program that better equips them [and] enables them,” he explained.

To participate in the program, advisors must “have a certain number of clients who [are] high net worth,” which Raymond James defines as having $5 million and above of investable net assets, Curtis said, and many of its advisors already work with such clients.

Program Details

About 50 of its independent and employee advisors are enrolled in the initial program, which aims to help them develop competence and confidence “around working with the unique needs of” both high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients, Curtis explained.

The firm’s inaugural class of Private Wealth Advisors is set to complete the “intensive, highly interactive” six-month program this fall, and the next group will be enrolled later this year, Raymond James said when announcing the program two weeks ago.

“Through this first group, we’ve received very constructive, helpful feedback … regarding what they have found particularly useful in the program [and] what areas we could improve for the next group of 50, who will begin in November,” Curtis said.

To receive the new designation, advisors must successfully complete the program and pass an in-person test, which is “case-study based,” he noted, adding that managers from across the firm have volunteered to act as HNW and UHNW “clients” for those enrolled in the program.

Many high-net-worth prospects and clients are or have been entrepreneurs, so advisors are learning how to help them sell or pass their business on to the next generation, while minimizing taxes involved in sales of those businesses, Curtis explained.

At the same time, the Private Wealth Advisor Program does not aim to make advisors experts in trust and estate planning, according to Curtis: “[We’re] getting them to the point where they can … identify where the opportunity exists in communicating with their clients and then bring in a specialist if needed.”

Raymond James’ Private Client Group had about 8,600 financial advisors with total client assets under administration of $1.1 trillion as of Aug. 31.

(Pictured: Scott Curtis)


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