With $658M recruit, Raymond James’ Alex. Brown adds to hiring roster

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Raymond James’ Alex. Brown division picked up a wirehouse advisor managing $658 million in client assets, adding to the unit’s $3.7 billion in new hires this year.

“This year by all metrics was a very successful year for Alex. Brown — particularly considering the backdrop we were all facing,” says Haig Ariyan, head of Global Wealth Solutions at Raymond James and president of Alex. Brown.

Raymond James acquired Alex. Brown from Deutsche Bank in 2016, resurrecting the unit’s original name when it was an independent company. Alex. Brown caters to ultrahigh- and high-net-worth clients.

Mark Pomerantz joined from Morgan Stanley, where he had been at the wirehouse since beginning his career in 1981, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. He is based in Los Angeles, where he caters to individual investors, pension plans, trusts, profit-sharing plans and businesses, according to Raymond James. Pomerantz holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of California San Diego.

A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman declined to comment.

Including Pomerantz, Alex. Brown has signed 19 advisors this year. The cohort managed a combined $3.7 billion and came from big name rivals such as Morgan Stanley, UBS, Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo, according to Raymond James. The firm doesn't provide a headcount for Alex. Brown, but Raymond James reported fielding 8,239 total financial advisors at the end of the third quarter.

Ariyan says that after an initial coronavirus-related slowdown in March, recruiting activity picked up.

“It’s remarkable. There are parts that make it more challenging, but there are aspects of the work-from-home environment that make a transition to another firm a bit more fluid,” Ariyan says. “Clients, for example, are focused on ensuring the continuity of the relationship with their advisor. That familiarity is extremely valuable in a crisis or challenge such as this. So in many ways clients have been reacting a bit more rapidly to maintain their relationship with their FAs than they have historically.”

Typically, Ariyan would meet with recruits face to face. Potential hires would also visit Raymond James’ headquarters in St. Petersburg, Florida and Alex. Brown’s offices in New York. Such meetings have been conducted virtually this year, and Ariyan says they’ve been a success, but not a real replacement for the in-person experience.

“It’s been highly effective, but it’s hard to replace the feeling you get when you visit the Raymond James home office,” he says.

Next year, Alex. Brown will move its New York headquarters to 320 Park Ave., adjacent to its current location at 350 Park Ave.

“We believe in NYC and we are committed to having a presence here,” Ariyan says.

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Recruiting Boutiques Wirehouse advisors Raymond James Financial Alex. Brown Haig Ariyan