Advisor Intelligence

RJFS To Focus On Technology, Regulatory Issues & Succession Planning

What’s next for Raymond James? President Scott Curtis told attendees at the firm’s national professional development conference on Tuesday that technology upgrades, regulatory and compliance issues, as well as advisor succession planning are all on the agenda.

“Our objective is to the best private client services firm,” Curtis said.

On the technology side of things, the firm is working on money movement and client onboarding projects to help make it easier for advisors to set up new accounts and transfer existing client information.

“It’s time to completely renovate how we store and access client info between accounts,” Curtis says. The money movement project is already underway, while the client onboarding—including e-signature technology—will be coming soon to advisor workstations.

‘Once you have that info, you ought to be about to repurpose it,” Curtis said in a follow-up press briefing.  He added that not many firms in the industry have a single data repository like the one Raymond James is attempting to set up.  “They’d be much more efficient if they weren’t bogged down with completing forms and re-keying data that’s already in the system somewhere,” he says.

The firm also plans to continue to help advisors navigate the changing regulatory environment, including current proposed measures on fiduciary standards.

Curtis says Raymond James is also ramping up their push to get more advisors to construct and implement a succession plan. Approximately 50 percent of Raymond James advisors have some type of succession plan in place, but Curtis says that’s not enough.

“Even if you’re years away from retirement, you should have a plan in place,” he says. He outlined one scenario where a young, active Raymond James advisor had a fatal heart attack while on a daily jog. The advisor didn’t have a succession plan in place, so the firm had to scramble to find advisors in the area interested in taking on his practice.

“You want it there just in case something catastrophic happens,” Curtis says of succession plans. “It’s the prudent thing to do.”

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