The Wise Investor Group – With Over $20mm in Annual Revenue – is One of the Largest Hires Ever at Raymond James
“Raymond James provided us with the scale of a major firm and the autonomy to manage client accounts the way we always have. Raymond James gives us the complete freedom to provide objective advice and do what’s best for [our clients]. We can have meaningful conversations about our clients’ wealth and goals…not what a financial institution tells us they need to have.”
Managing Director, Portfolio Manager
The Wise Investor Group
The term “independence” has come to represent a culture that supports entrepreneurialism rather than a specific business model. Because for many advisors, the task of building an independent firm is a “bridge too far”—yet the desire for flexibility and control over how they service clients and build the business is inalienable.
Simon Hamilton, Greg Smith, and Chris Aime are advisors who embody that mindset.
Over the course of 15 years at Baird, they built a powerhouse business managing $2.8B in client assets and generating over $20mm in annual revenue.
Yet they felt they had reached a point where they were outgrowing the firm and could no longer serve their ultra- and high net worth clients to the best of their abilities. Simon and Greg indicated that the technology and infrastructure were outdated and, ultimately, they were not getting enough value for what they were charged.
The team wanted to be part of a firm that was innovative and investing in the business. And the mere fact that they were even considering a move from Baird is noteworthy, given that the firm is known to have exceptional retention levels among top advisors.
An extraordinary team like this is well-known by every hiring manager and called upon by every recruiter, so why would they choose to work with Diamond Consultants?
As a highly visible team led by perennial Barron’s Top Advisors, they needed an extra layer of protection before going to market—and having assisted some of the largest teams in the industry over the years, they valued Diamond Consultants’ ability to serve as a confidential resource.
Plus, the team lacked the bandwidth to do the legwork necessary to realize the waterfall of possibilities and what aligned best with their goals. They also had several non-negotiables to be accounted for – such as being able to produce a radio show and podcast, retaining a preferred planning software, and the ability to work with clients of any asset size – which required additional research on our part.
Ultimately, by gaining clarity on their unique needs, we ruled out options preemptively, eliminating wasted time on superfluous meetings.
Through due diligence, the team landed on Raymond James & Associates and was attracted to their boutique feel and culture. The firm fit the bill as one that had the scale and commitment to keep innovating, plus superior solutions for ultra- and high net worth clients in lending, trust services, and advanced planning.
Raymond James’ culture of partnering with advisors – treating them as their clients – and advisor book ownership were real wins.
Likewise, Raymond James provided the team with the autonomy to keep their brand, radio show, and team structure.
At the end of the day, for Greg, Simon, Chris, and this 14-person team, this move was about setting the business up for the next 20 years and feeling confident that the firm they partnered with gave them a true sense of independence while making a significant commitment to invest in the team’s growth.
Diamond Consultants is pleased to have represented The Wise Investor Group and looks forward to hearing more about their journey in the future.
More About this Move….
- RayJay Bags Baird Team in Virginia with $2.5 Billion Book
- Raymond James Picks Up $2.9B Baird Team