A newly formed RIA has chosen Raymond James' custodial option for independent RIAs.

Prior to forming REI Wealth Management, Raymond Ifert and Lorraine Faedo worked at a Tampa, Fla.-based branch of BNY Mellon, where Ifert was responsible for $850 million in client assets. But Ifert, who has spent more than 30 years in the industry, says he will not be bringing his BNY clients with him.

Ifert says he considered a hybrid model for his newly formed firm, but he didn't see himself conducting much commission-based business.

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Nonetheless, he says, he liked the reputation that Raymond James enjoys in the Tampa area; the firm -- which has a larger independent B-D operation, as well as an employee channel -- is based right across the bay in nearby  St. Petersburg, Fla.

"I don't have to explain to people in Tampa Bay and Florida who Raymond James is," Ifert says. "It's very helpful to be able to access experts when they're less than 10 miles away from me."

Ifert says he also chose Raymond James' custodial operation because of the firm's solid financials, and its bank and trust services. "I've worked for three large firms ... and I'm trying to practice the wealth management business," Ifert says. "I need to partner with a firm that can help my clients on both sides of the balance sheet."

Ifert is president and CEO of the new firm. Faedo, who is vice president of the new firm, has spent her career in the client service business. At BNY Mellon, she worked as an assistant portfolio officer.

The RIA will focus on high-net-worth clients; trusts, foundations and endowments; charitable institutions; corporations and small business, according to a statement announcing the new firm. Raymond James Investment Advisors Division served as custodian to more than 110 firms as of late 2014.

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