Raymond James adds Morgan Stanley adviser with $360 million in AUM

Adviser Stephen Besse will be part of the firm's presence in northern California

By Mason Braswell

May 12, 2014 @ 12:27 pm (Updated 5:03 pm) EST

Stephen Besse
Stephen Besse

Raymond James has picked up a former Morgan Stanley adviser with $360 million in assets, as the firm looks to expand on the West Coast.

Adviser Stephen Besse joined Raymond James & Associates Inc.'s Walnut Creek office on May 2, having previously produced some $1.35 million in annual fees and commissions, according to Nathan Clakley, the complex manager for Raymond James in northern California.

The average Morgan Stanley adviser produced $881,000 in trailing-12 month fees and commissions, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Raymond James' disclosures do not break out average revenue per representative. Approximately 2,438 advisers were in Raymond James' traditional employee division at the end of March, according to the firm's filings.

Mr. Besse will be the firm's 21st adviser in the northern California division, which comprises four offices in Walnut Creek and the greater San Francisco area. Raymond James is based in St. Petersburg, Fla.

“People are discovering Raymond James in northern California for the first time,” Mr. Clakley said. “We're really just getting our physical presence out here going.”

Mr. Clakley declined to specify the recruiting goals for the year. He said the recruiting market in California was becoming “more fluid” and that more advisers were “willing to listen to alternatives at this time.”

Mr. Besse started his career in 1994 at Citigroup Global Markets Inc., whose brokerage unit was acquired by Morgan Stanley in 2009.

A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman, Christine Jockle, confirmed that Mr. Besse had left the firm but declined to comment.