Raymond James Financial (RJF) added 49 net new advisors across its employee and independent channels in the fiscal third quarter, the company announced Wednesday. The firm’s private client group reported record revenues and pre-tax income, driven by record levels of assets under administration of $454 billion, up 17 percent from a year ago and 5 percent sequentially.
“As deals in the wirehouses tend to burn off, our recruiting pipeline stays very robust,” said CEO Paul Reilly, during an analyst call Thursday morning. “We expect, as recruiting continues to grow and have a decent market, that the private client group should do very, very well.”
Overall, the firm reported record net income of $122.7 million for the quarter, up 46 percent from a year ago, on record net revenues of $1.2 billion, up 9 percent over the year-ago period. The firm’s earnings per share of $0.85, up 44 percent year-over-year, beat analyst expectations by $0.09. Revenues were in line with analyst estimates. Total client assets under administration are a record $479 billion, an 18 percent boost over a year ago and 5 percent over last quarter.
The firm’s private client group had a strong quarter, generating record net revenues of $816.9 million, up 10 percent from a year ago, and record pre-tax income of $81.5 million, up 39 percent year-over-year. The revenue growth was driven by a boost in assets in fee-based accounts in the segment, Reilly said. Fee-based assets now account for 37 percent client assets in the private client group.
The firm’s total advisor count hit 6,251 in the third quarter of fiscal 2014, up from 6,202 last quarter, and up from 6,181 in the year-ago quarter.
“Sometimes the advisors don’t like what they view as the institutionalization of their business, as banks tend to look at doing more products direct or relationships direct we seem to get the benefit of,” Reilly said. “I think there’s an awful lot of people still, because the merger activity is pretty fresh, that grew up in firms like ours that don’t like that kind of operating environment and tend to come.”
Reilly said he believes the firm will continue to be a beneficiary of advisors leaving the wirehouses for a decent period of time.