Raymond James isn’t likely to be a buyer for Region’s Financial’s Morgan Keegan unit.
In an interview at the 17th annual Raymond James Women’s Symposium Thursday morning, two Raymond James executives said that there was too much overlap between their firm and Morgan Keegan -- even though it was attractive.
“I have great respect for Morgan Keegan,” said Chet Helck, chief operating officer of Raymond James Financial, Inc., who oversees the parent company's independent advisor channel, Raymond James Financial Services. “I think it would be a great strategic fit but there is a lot of overlap.” Most of the redundancy is on the fixed-income side, he noted. “We’re not going to be seduced into overpaying for something just because we like it.”
Dennis Zank, president of Raymond James & Associates, the employee channel within the firm, echoed those sentiments. “Morgan Keegan would be a great cultural fit,” Zank said. “But it’s at the far end of our acquisition-size appetite.” But both didn’t rule out recruiting individuals and teams of high-producing advisors and branch managers from Morgan Keegan.
Still, Helck noted that there hasn’t been a mass defection of advisors from Morgan Keegan. “These people have been remarkably loyal,” he said.
Separately, Zank said that RJA is experiencing record revenues for fiscal year 2011, which closes Sept. 30.
“It has to do with the fact that we had very, very strong recruiting years from 2005 to 2009.” Even though recruiting dipped last year, RJA saw a strong early part of this year. “We banked the first nine months of this fiscal year,” he said.
Recruiting is starting to pick up, he said, because of changes in management and policies at other competing firms. He pointed to the shakeup at Bank of America Merrill Lynch which recently saw the departure of Sallie Krawcheck, who was head of global wealth management. “The fact that she is out and a new regime is in place, gives advisors pause,” he said.
Zank believes that those types of changes coupled with negative headlines about other rival firms could have advisors at those companies coming to his door in an attempt to find a more stable home. Zank has budgeted for 120 new advisors which represents $60 million in new production for fiscal 2012. “We hired over our budget this year,” he said, pointing to 110 new advisors. The firm also added about 20 new advisors through the acquisition of a Chicago firm in the past year.