President of Raymond James & Associates since January 2012, Tash Elwyn has overseen rapid growth at the Tampa Bay-based regional firm. In an edited transcript below, Elwyn, whos been with Raymond James since graduating from Emory University in 1993, talks about why the firm is enjoying recruiting success today, where it aims to expand its market share and why it will launch a new first branch manager training program.
OWS Raymond James & Associates has been recruiting a lot of top talent recently. Is the firm aiming to grow more through recruitment?
Elwyn: Our growth strategy begins first and foremost with retention. Its our belief that by maintaining our culture and platform, advisors are able to make a difference for their clients.
The growth of Raymond James is best made through that.Beyond that, recruiting is important to us. And its a focus on a creed of growth through external recruitment, selectively affiliating with advisors from other firms as well as training the next generation of advisors.
Why do you think youve had recruiting success lately?
The recruiting momentum and successes youre seeing are really many years in the making.
Were continuing to make investments in our technology and platformand that positions Raymond James uniquely so we are simultaneously big enough and small enough to provide all the tools advisors coming from the biggest firms need and pair that with the culture of a regional. Its a culture of providing the best of both worlds. And its positioned Raymond James to have as much recruiting success that the firm has been enjoying.
As the industry becomes increasingly templated, advisors are craving independence and autonomyindependence not as a contractor per se, but independence of thought in terms of who they work with, what account minimums they have, how they service clients. They are finding and enjoying that at Raymond James.
Where will Raymond James future growth come from?
Our future growth will be largely focused on several key geographies where we are selectively and prudently expanding: the West Coast, Pacific Northwest and Northeast.
As much success as we are already enjoying, the focus will continue to beas much top down as that strategy isto continue to selectively affiliate with the right people.
Whats the recruitment process like?
Every single advisor who is thinking about Raymond James makes a due diligence visit to the home office. That visit is customized and personalized for that advisor, to make sure we are getting the resources and tools he or she needs.
And as beneficial as that visit is for the advisor, its also important for me and other senior management to meet them. Its important that we can be proud of the advisors who will be representing us in the communities in which they live and work, and that they share the values of Raymond Jamesconservative and client-focused.
That get-to-know-you is far more important to me than the qualitative how big or small someones business is.
How will the new training program for branch managers at Raymond James fit into the firms future growth?
As you look ahead at the looming demographicsnot just the number of clients but the number of advisors who will be entering retirementthat challenge is the same for branch managers. I also firmly believe that that challenge is an opportunity.
At Raymond James we recognize that its imperative to develop a bench programa training programfor the next generation of branch managers, just as we need to have the next generation of advisors in place. We are beginning to put in the building blocks to ensure that they will have the resources they will need to continue their professional development.
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