Raymond James Financial’s acquisition of Morgan Keegan lifted the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based firm’s earnings despite unfavorable economic conditions.

“Overall, I am pleased with our quarterly results given the Morgan Keegan integration efforts and the difficult market environment,” chief executive Paul Reilly said in a statement.  Net income at the parent company, Raymond James Financial Inc., rose 63% to $76,350,000 in the third quarter of 2012 from $46,786,000 for the same period one year ago.

Raymond James also reported net revenues of $1.09 billion, some $214 million higher than the previous quarter. Operations in the wealth management division “improved modestly,” as the addition of Morgan Keegan advisors helped the Florida firm.  

Raymond James gained more than 900 advisors from the deal with Morgan Keegan, which the company said helped add “the majority of the revenue and earnings increases.” The firm reported a total of 5,489 advisors in the United States at the end of third quarter compared with 4,492 one year ago.

Fee-based assets were the strongest as investment advisory fees increased 5% from $55 million to almost $58 million. Account and service fees rose 14% to hit $82 million. That helped drive up revenue at the private client group by 23% from $557 million to $684 million.

Client assets under administration, which includes institutional assets, rose to $376 billion from $278 billion one year ago.

Still the company’s operations met with some difficulty and were “negatively impact by the poor equity markets during much of the quarter,” the release said.

Client assets fell 1.5% at the quarter to $356 million, which Raymond James says is reflective of the 3.3% decline in the S&P 500.

In addition to the immediate boost of 900 advisors, Raymond James still expects recruitment to expand as “the number of experienced financial advisor prospects visiting our headquarters has increased.” Raymond James bought Morgan Keegan from Memphis-Tenn.-based Regions Financial Corp. in a $1.2 billion deal that was completed earlier this year.


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