Perspectives from the Raymond James Recruiting Partners Forum
As we wrapped up at the Raymond James Recruiting Partners Forum held at their corporate headquarters in St. Petersburg, FL on November 22, I found myself considering what accounts for the firm’s extraordinary success in recruiting.
RayJay reports that 2014 has been the second best recruiting year in its history (second only to the outlier year of 2008-2009 when all firms saw huge increases in their recruiting numbers). They are up more than 50% over FY 2013, and they have more million-dollar producers than at any time in their history.
Sure, RayJay has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in technology, they have a fabulous women advisors network, they own a bank (but aren’t owned by a bank), they have a 120 person marketing agency to support advisors, and they offer an omni-channel solution (advisors can join as W-2 employees, 1099 independents, or RIAs). Yet, a number of firms have these same characteristics.
So, what is the secret sauce? Frankly, I’m not sure there is one, yet I do believe that many advisors want exactly what a regional firm like RayJay “stands for.” Often beaten by a lack of control, too much bureaucracy and loss of faith in senior leadership, many wirehouse advisors are seeking alternative solutions. Some will find their bliss by going independent but a good number have already proven that a firm like RayJay with a strong culture and core values of putting clients first, integrity, and believing advisors are their clients will beat those offering the biggest transition packages.
While there may not be a “secret sauce,” Raymond James and other regional firms like Janney, RBC and Stifel may have found some of those ingredients that those who are not interested in the independent space look for. Ultimately, when exploring options, what an advisor values most will determine where he lands, so when culture is the hot button issue, the regional players will continue to kill it. And firms like RayJay will reap the benefits and continue to attract extraordinary talent.