Raymond James adds advisers in first quarter, but warns of possible slowdown

CEO says it will be difficult to match last year's record year for recruitment

Apr 25, 2019 @ 2:31 pm

By Bruce Kelly

Raymond James Financial Inc. continues to attract advisers to its various private client group channels, reporting a net gain of 47, or less than 1%, in the first quarter and 258, or 3.4%, in the past 12 months. The firm has 7,862 advisers.

In a conference call with analysts on its first quarter performance, CEO Paul Reilly noted that interest from advisers looking to potentially work at Raymond James remained high, but the strong pace could be slower than fiscal 2018, which was a record year. The firm also had some advisers retire over the first three months of the year.

Raymond James's private client group reported net revenues of $1.27 billion, flat with the prior year's quarter ending in March, and down 6% when compared to the previous quarter. The group's pre-tax income was $132 million, a decline of 16% when compared with the same time last year and 20% below the preceding quarter.

Like all broker-dealers and wealth managers, the tumultuous markets of last year's fourth quarter had an impact on Raymond James.

"Results during the quarter were negatively impacted by lower brokerage revenues and the market-driven decline of private client group assets in fee-based accounts during the preceding quarter, as these accounts are predominantly billed based on balances at the beginning of the quarter," the company said in a statement.

The private client group, however, reported a new high of $760 billion in assets under administration an increase of 9% over March 2018 and 10% over December 2018.

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