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Raymond James Expects Better Recruiting Offers to Keep Boosting FA Count

By Ian Thomas April 30, 2021

Raymond James Financial is succeeding in raising its financial advisor headcount through improved recruiting packages, according to its chairman and CEO.

“The number of advisors scheduled to join is up significantly, not only in our employee channel, but across all of our affiliation options,” Paul Reilly said yesterday on a call with analysts to discuss the firm’s earnings for its fiscal second quarter, which ended on March 31.

“The enhancements to the recruiting packages have been very well received by prospective advisors,” he added.

In January, Reilly told analysts that the firm “maybe got a little uncompetitive” as its recruiting tailed off, noting that “it’s a hard choice for advisors when they come down to two places when someone is going to pay him 50% more.”

Raymond James was previously hesitant to increase the transition money that it offers potential advisors amid uncertainty around the Covid-19 pandemic, but as competitors offered more money and further widened the gap, Reilly said in January that the firm reconsidered its position. The company declined to comment on the precise amount by which it had increased its recruiting deals to advisors, when the higher offer took effect, or how many advisors had taken the higher package, however.

The company had 8,327 financial advisors in its Private Client Group at the end of March according to its second quarter earnings report, up 94 from the previous quarter and up 179 from March 2020. That’s a turnaround from a net decrease of six advisors in the last three months of 2020.

Reilly said he expects Raymond James’ advisor headcount to increase by even more next quarter, as the company has seen a steady increase in commitments across all its advisor channels — something that has not been included in its published recruitment numbers. Reilly didn’t give actual estimates of potential headcount growth, however.

“Some of those people may not join or may delay their join, but based on the backlog I expect the numbers to be very robust,” he said.

Reilly also did not provide specific details during the latest earnings call with analysts as to how Raymond James has enhanced its financial offering to potential advisor recruits.

Several broker-dealers have cited a more competitive recruiting environment in recent earnings calls. However, unlike Raymond James, others such as Stifel Financial and Ameriprise have instead depended largely on their technology offerings to lure prospective advisors.

Raymond James has continued to invest in its technology offerings and enhance both its advisor and end-client platforms, Reilly said, noting that such efforts have long had a positive impact on its recruiting. The company will outline further upgrades to those platforms in an upcoming analyst and investor presentation next month, he said.

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Tags:  Technology , Fees and compensation , Staffing and recruiting , Stifel Financial , Ameriprise , Raymond James Financial

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