Raymond James' growing adviser workforce pushes brokerage unit to record year

The company added 94 more brokers in latest quarter and is up a total of 467 on a year-over-year basis

Oct 24, 2018 @ 5:37 pm

By Jeff Benjamin

A record number of financial advisers helped push Raymond James Financial's Private Client Group to record revenues and profits, the company reported.

The adviser ranks climbed to 7,813 at the end of the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, representing a net increase of 467 over the prior year, and a net increase of 94 advisers from the end of the prior quarter.

The Private Client Group reported record quarterly net revenue of $1.31 billion, up 12% over the same quarter last year, and up 2% over the prior quarter.

According to the company's fiscal fourth-quarter earnings, reported Wednesday after the market closed, the Private Client Group also produced full-year record net revues of $5.06 billion and record annual pre-tax income of $576.1 billion.

The company attributed the strong quarter and fiscal year numbers to strong asset growth in fee-based accounts, which represented 48% of the segment's total client assets under administration at the end of the September quarter.

Private Client Group assets under administration finished the fiscal year at a record $755.7 billion, up 15% from year ago, and up 5% from the prior quarter ending June 30.

Assets in fee-based accounts totaled $366.3 billion, up 24% from a year ago, and up 7% from the previous quarter.

"Fiscal year 2018 was a record year for financial adviser recruiting, and retention of advisors remained excellent," CEO Paul Reilly said in a prepared statement. "Our focus on serving advisers and their clients continues to resonate with high-quality financial advisors across all of our affiliation options."

It was also a good year for Raymond James' asset management business, which saw quarterly net revenues hit a record $172.4 million, up 31% over the prior year's fiscal fourth quarter, and up 3% over previous quarter.

Annual net revenues in the asset management business were also a record of $654.4 million, a 34% increase over the prior year.

Raymond James (RJF) stock finished the day down 5.35% on Wednesday to $78.48, while the S&P 500 Index finished the day down 3.09%.

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