Hey, Guys, Give Raymond James Some Credit
Raymond James Financial’s recruiting of Deutsche Bank’s orphaned U.S. brokers appears to be proceeding smoothly, in contrast to Wells Fargo Advisors’ efforts to woo Credit Suisse brokers, but it’s not a one-man show, a reader reminds us.
Only minutes after we posted our “carpet bombing” article about Haig Ariyan’s masterful orchestration of the deal to move his DBank team wholesale to Raymond James, we heard from a RayJay complex director who says there’s much more to the story.
“The comment about Ariyan’s smarts…doesn’t give credit to the fact that RJ made a commitment to keep every possible advisor. Unlike Wells, who will take what it can get, RJ has committed to the deal. Taking nothing away from Ariyan and the great job he is doing, RJ knew what it would cost to acquire the entire group and that it would be money well spent.”
As we’ve reported, rival firms and recruiters have made little progress in waylaying Ariyan’s project. He has rallied his troops by negotiating continuing access to DBank’s capital markets platform, making signing bonuses an integral part of the more than $400 million price RayJay expects to pay, and assuring marketing autonomy by branding the group under the Alex Brown name. A well-placed source tells us that Raymond James executives expect to retain as much as 80% of the brokers in the unit.
As our reader and other RayJayers tell us, the Florida-based company has assuaged fears of channel competition among its thousands of brokers. It has craftily committed to hire virtually all the more than 150 DBank advisors while assuring current brokers that they will not lose their high-net-worth clients to the new Alex Brown division.
The new division will not be marketed as a refuge for high-net-worth clients who have outgrown the RayJay platforms, sources said. “They tell us repeatedly that Alex Brown will not be like Merrill’s PBIG (private banking and investment group),” a manager said, referring to the internal conflicts that can arise between Merrill’s common herd of brokers and those “private bankers” who work with wealthier clients.
A reader chides us mildly, as well, for focusing so greatly on the smallish Deutsche Bank deal which pales in comparison to Raymond James’ much more financially and operationally complex acquisition of Morgan Keegan in 2012.
Deutsche Bank, despite its disarray, also deserves some credit for its role in the unfolding transition. Not only will it keep its platforms open for a limited time to its former brokers who go to RayJay, but it also has pledged to bridge the signing bonuses that RayJay is promising to give them when the deal closes in the second half of the year.
Success, once again, is proving to have many parents.