DALLAS - Technology and training are top priorities for Raymond James Financial, the firm's CEO says.

Spending on technology rose 32% in the past two years to over $200 million, says chief executive Paul Reilly, at Raymond James Financial Services’ annual national conference in Dallas. Previewing an address Thursday that he's set to deliver to the 1,600 advisors attending the conference, Reilly adds that Raymond James Financial will continue to have “a big focus” on technology going forward.

All technology will be “mobile-enabled,” he says, making it easier for advisors to access client assets for reporting, analysis, communication and integration. “We’ve come a long way and we’ve got a lot to do,” Reilly adds.


Raymond James will also be beefing up its training program and take advantage of the existing training program it inherited from its acquisition of Morgan Keegan last year, Reilly says.

The average advisor age is 58 and the industry “keeps stealing advisors from each other,” he says -- adding that the scenario can’t continue forever. “We need the next generation, and have to train and integrate them,” he says. “That’s where the future of the business is. That’s where the future of the business is.”


Raymond James will continue to target a 15% annual revenue growth rate, Reilly says, with expansion efforts divided between new advisors, increased production and asset growth.

He also says he hopes the new advisors would be more diverse than the industry’s current predominately white male makeup. Reilly predicts the number of female advisors will grow, yet says the industry also needs dramatically better efforts to recruit African-American and Hispanic advisors.


Asked about future acquisitions, Reilly says there were “four of five” smaller wealth management firms Raymond James would “love to buy,” but all were private and not for sale.

Reilly expresses satisfaction with the Morgan Keegan acquisition, saying the integration “went off without a glitch” -- something he chalks up to the two firms' compatible cultures.

And he says “cultural fit” would again be the top criterion for purchasing a firm -- followed by strategic fit, ability to integrate and the “right price.” Yet for the time being, there are “not a lot of opportunities” for an acquisition, he says -- so Raymond James will “go back to growing organically.”

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