RayJay Loses $234 Mln-Asset Team to Stifel in Scottsdale
Raymond James Financial, an aggressive recruiter of experienced brokers, lost a team of its own on Monday to another voracious regional hirer.
Longtime brokerage veteran Thomas LaPorte and two other brokers on his team joined Stifel Financial’s Stifel Nicolaus broker-dealer on Monday in Scottsdale, Arizona. The team, which also included Bryan Bertucci and Von Hallauer, had managed $234 million in assets, according to a release from Stifel.
LaPorte, a 41-year brokerage veteran who had been a branch manager for Raymond James before moving full-time into production in April, said in an interview that he had overseen around $140 million of that total and individually generated around $1.3 million.
He left Raymond James after 11 years as part of a succession plan to eventually transition the book to his younger teammates, he explained. He was also frustrated with what he claimed was reduced access firm-wide to shares of initial public offerings and other syndicate business. His commissions from syndicate had dropped to around $90,000 per year compared to $800,000 per year when he joined Raymond James from Robert W. Baird in 2007, he said.
“For the business I do, it’s just not the place anymore,” LaPorte said.
Spokespeople for St. Petersburg, Florida-based Raymond James didn’t respond to a request for comment on the move or LaPorte’s remarks.
Raymond James and St. Louis-based Stifel have been aggressive in seeking to boost hires at a time when larger wirehouse rivals, including UBS Financial Services, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and Merrill Lynch have substantially cut back on recruiting. Stifel Financial in July boosted its offer to new recruits following the demise of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule.
LaPorte, who began his career with Dean Witter in 1976, has spent the majority of his career with regional brokerage firms. In 1993, he moved to Prudential Securities before joining US Bancorp Piper Jaffray in 1997, then Baird in 2002.
Bryan Bertucci started his career as a wholesaler with Putnam Mutual Funds in 1998 before moving to American General Funds the same year, AIG in 2001 and Lord Abbett in 2007, according to BrokerCheck. In 2011 he switched to the distribution side when he joined Raymond James. Von Hallauer began his career 17 years ago with Edward Jones before joining Raymond James in 2011.