Raymond James sweeps up advisors with over $900M

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Raymond James’ latest recruiting haul brought in advisors overseeing more than $900 million, building on the firm’s hiring momentum.

The company’s strategy has boosted headcount to 7,862 independent and employee advisors for the first quarter, an increase of 258 from the year-ago period. The St. Petersburg, Florida-based firm has also upped its focus on markets where it has traditionally been underrepresented: the West Coast and Northeast.

In California, the firm has dedicated additional resources to recruiting, a move executives might replicate elsewhere in the country, according to Scott Curtis, president of Raymond James’ Private Client Group. The firm is also engaged in other kinds of outreach, including taking a version of its touted home office tours on the road for advisors who can’t make the trek to St. Petersburg.

And almost 100 advisors from rival companies attended a Raymond James conference this week in Las Vegas, according to Curtis who spoke from the event.

The following 17 teams oversaw about $75 billion in assets. The firms ending the year with prize recruits include a diverse cast: regional BDs, wirehouses, boutiques and RIAs.
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“They found it very beneficial because they have a chance to interact with advisors already affiliated with RaymondJames,” he says. “That’s been a very effective way for advisors to get to know us better.”

The company’s strategy to attract advisors has also relied, in part, on Raymond James’ multiple affiliation options. Curtis says that new hires tend to split about 55% to the independent side and 45% to the employee side. “That appears to be the case again this year,” he says.

The firm’s newest recruits reflect that á la carte approach, joining Raymond James’ employee and independent channels in three locations.

Former UBS advisors Lori Siegel and Robert Russo opened an independent practice in Houston. The duo previously oversaw $300 million, according to Raymond James. Siegel and Russo have22 and 14 years of industry experience respectively, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records.

Going independent was “the best next step for our team,” Siegel said in a statement.

Joining Raymond James’ employee channel are advisors Gus Panos, Jason Firek and John Gaynor. The trio was previously affiliated with Merrill Lynch, where they managed more than $400 million in client assets and generated more than $4 million in annual revenue, according to their new employer.

They are based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Panos has been in the industry for 27 years while Firek and Gaynor each have 16 years of experience, according to BrokerCheck.

“We want the freedom to continue to grow our business in the manner we desire and in service to our clients, not as dictated by someone else,” Firek said in a statement.

Also leaving UBS are advisors John Saalfield and Rick Lima. They joined Raymond James’ independent side in Dallas. They previously managed $235 million in client assets while at UBS. Saalfield and Lima have 11 and 16 years of industry experience, respectively.

Separately, Raymond James said it promoted Kim Jenson to COO of the firm’s private client group. Jenson previously served as COO of the company’s employee broker-dealer. She joined Raymond James in 2017 from UBS where she oversaw business development for the wirehouse’s Chicago market.

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Recruiting Independent BDs Regional BDs Going independent Scott Curtis Raymond James Financial