Raymond James & Associates recruited an advisor team managing $900 million in assets to open its first office in Manhattan.

The four-person advisor team left J.P. Morgan Securities, where they generated $6.7 million in annual revenue. This latest addition is Raymond James' biggest recruiting grab of the year, and furthers the firm's growth objectives in the Northeast.

The group, now known as Quattuor Capital Partners of Raymond James, is led by managing director Howard Franzblau. Team members include managing directors Richard  Devine, Wayne Froud and David B. Brennan, who will also serve as branch manager. 

Franzblau, a 30-year industry veteran, says that the team began considering making a move two years ago. They explored different options, including going independent, but opted for Raymond James because of the firm's culture, platform and management. 

"It was a long, slow process, but we really believe that this was the right move for us," he says.

One key factor was the senior leadership, who impressed the team during multiple meetings. "I really can't over emphasize the commitment from senior management. We've met them all and they are really committed to this business," he says.

BIG RECRUITMENT

Raymond James' second largest grab of the year was also a J.P. Morgan team. In April, advisors Michael Cohen and Benjamin Cohen joined the firm in Chicago. They previously managed approximately $670 million in assets and generated annual revenues in excess of $4.2 million.

Howard Diamond, managing director and general counsel of Diamond Consultants, says he's not surprised by Raymond James' latest recruiting coup.

"Raymond James has a phenomenal culture and it comes out if you take a trip to St. Petersburg [where the firm is based]," he says.

Raymond James has had strong recruiting momentum this year. The firm said that the latest fiscal year ending in September was its second strongest ever. Diamond notes that successes tend to breed more successes.

"It's like the independence model. Ten years no one would look at it. But you have the first trail blazers, and slowly, others start to see it as an option," Diamond says.

VETERAN TEAM

The team has been together for more than 20 years. Franzblau started his career in 1983 with Merrill Lynch, according to FINRA records. He stayed with the wirehouse for five years before joining Oppenheimer. He moved to Bear Stearns in 2003, staying through that firm's acquisition by J.P. Morgan.

"This was something that was good for us. It was nothing about JPM. It was more about what Raymond James could provide for us," he says.

All four advisors had been with Oppenheimer and left in 2003 to join Bear Stearns, which was later acquired by J.P. Morgan.

Devine has been in the securities business since 1981, according to FINRA records. He joined Oppenheimer in 1987. Like Franzblau, team member Froud and Brennan launched their careers with Merrill Lynch in the 1980s. Froud worked for Merrill in Sydney, Australia. He moved to New York in 1983 to join Oppenheimer.

Tash Elwyn, president of Raymond James & Associates, said in a statement that while the addition of Quattuor Capital Partners has set the bar high, "we are confident that with our firm’s reputation, services and culture gaining exposure and wide acceptance in this market, there will be others who seek our unique blend of Wall Street resources and Main Street values."

Also moving with the team are senior investment management specialists Jason Franzblau and Al Myrie, senior registered sales associates Stacy Galliand Yvette Viani and senior sales associate Mitzi Phillips.

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