Raymond James recruits $1.3B team from Bank of America Merrill Lynch

The Jenkintown, Pa., based unit collected about $7 million in annual fees and commissions under its former employer

Mar 1, 2016 @ 1:44 pm

By Christine Idzelis

Raymond James Financial Inc. has picked up a $1.3 billion adviser team from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as the brokerage firm seeks to continue the strong recruitment momentum it built last year.

The group, which will operate as Fernberger Fernberger Loeb Wealth Management of Raymond James out of Jenkintown, Pa., collected about $7 million in annual fees and commissions while at Merrill Lynch, according to a statement from Raymond James Tuesday.

The move shows that the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based firm is continuing its push to expand in the Northeast, Tom Galvin, the North Atlantic regional director for its traditional employee broker-dealer business, said in the statement.

Jim Fernberger, a managing director and senior vice president of investments at the new firm, declined to comment on the move. In the announcement, however, he credits Raymond James' "client-centric" culture as one reason for the switch.

“Our team has been in this business for decades and there was a feeling about the firm we found both comfortable and somewhat reminiscent of our early days at Advest,” said Mr. Fernberg, who began his career at Advest Group Inc. in 1979. Merrill Lynch bought the firm about a decade ago.

In fiscal 2015, Raymond James' private client group, which includes its employee and independent brokerage businesses, posted its second-best year for recruiting behind 2009, when banks were struggling to recover from the financial crisis, according to its annual reports.

Last year, the firm picked up a five-person Bank of America Merrill team that managed $2.9 billion in West Nyack, N.Y., its biggest win in the fourth-quarter, according to data gathered by InvestmentNews.

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