Raymond James nears finish line on ‘record’ haul of big advisor teams


Independent broker-dealer heavyweight Raymond James is teasing the prospect of a big bump in its advisor headcount next quarter, as it moves on from another flat quarter on that front. 

“Our advisor recruiting activity has picked up significantly over the last two months, with record numbers of large teams in the pipeline,” Paul Reilly, the CEO and chairman of Raymond James, said in an earnings call Wednesday. 

Reilly said the backlog had built up especially over the past two months, and beyond headcount considerations, the assets involved were significant. “The number of teams that are generating $10 million to $20 million of revenue, we’ve never had so many come through at once.”  

READ MORE: How a $2.6B team moved its entire AUM to Raymond James in 45 days

While not all the moves had been confirmed yet, Reilly said, the firm was nearing commitment with several teams of that size. “We’ve never had this many at one time, where we’re down to the final kind of negotiating line … as well as people that have committed, we haven’t announced.” One such recent example was a bank-based team of 27 advisors with $3 billion in AUM, he said — apparently referring to the recent addition of Columbia Wealth Advisors, which joined the firm in October from rival IBD Cetera.

The St. Petersburg, Florida-based regional firm had plenty of other things to celebrate in its third-quarter earnings. It boasted both record profits and record quarterly revenue, which were largely buoyed by a record quarter in its wealth management unit Private Client Group. 

Firmwide revenue was $3.05 billion for the quarter and net income available to common shareholders was $432 million, according to an earnings press release Wednesday. 

Despite the strong results, Raymond James missed expectations with earnings per diluted share of $2.02, which was 11% below the analyst consensus of $2.28. But the company’s stock rose 5% in trading on Thursday, suggesting investors bought into its narrative of growth. 

“Overall, we were pleased with the result, and believe the company continues to perform well in a complicated operating environment, which speaks to the strength of the platform, and also the numerous natural hedges that exist,” JMP Securities analysts wrote in a note on Thursday commenting on the results. 

To see the main takeaways from Raymond James’ third-quarter earnings, scroll down the slideshow. For coverage of the firm’s second-quarter earnings, click here. For a look at the results from the first quarter, click here


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