Janney Bets on Star Manager to Jazz Up Recruiting
(Updates to include comment from the company and additional information in fifth and sixth paragraphs.)
Philadelphia-based Janney Montgomery Scott is hoping that a complex director in Washington D.C. can take the firm out of a recruiting rut and boost results nationwide.
Janney, which employs about 750 advisors, plans to promote Jeff Smith to a new role as director of recruiting and business development, according to two people at the firm familiar with its plans. Smith, now manager of Janney’s Washington, DC, branch, is being deployed to revitalize Janney’s “disappointing” recruiting results in recent years, said a veteran Janney broker, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Janney has been short of its goal of recruiting 40 new brokers annually for most of the last six years, said the source, and often lards its count by including trainees. With Smith at the helm, it hopes to finish 2016 with at least 50 hires, he said, noting that the numbers do not reflect advisors who leave the firm.
Smith did not respond to emails and phone calls seeking comment.
A Janney spokeswoman confirmed that Smith would be promoted to the new role in July but denied that the firm includes trainees in its recruiting tally.
So far this year, Janney has hired 20 advisors with average production of $778,000 and $94.5 million under management, according to the spokeswoman. Its goal for this year is to hire the equivalent of 7% of its total headcount, she said. Last year, new financial advisors amounted to almost 5%, she said.
Smith is “very well respected by branch managers” and expected to streamline operational processes and “old-school” thinking that have hindered recruiting efforts, said a branch manager who also spoke on condition of anonymity.
The broker separately offered a similar analysis.
“The administrative unit at the home office seems consistently slow and gets in the way,” he said. “The hope is that Jeff will be able to fight through that.”
Smith, who is expected to move to Janney’s Philadelphia headquarters, joined the regional brokerage in late 2012 after 13 years as a branch manager in Alexandria, Virginia, for Morgan Stanley and Smith Barney. He began his career at Merrill Lynch in 1990, worked for five years at PaineWebber, and joined Smith Barney in 2006 by way of its parent bank’s purchase of Legg Mason’s retail brokerage operations, according to his record on Finra’s BrokerCheck database.