Mr Moores does not automatically attribute Raymond James’ success in court directly to a large increase in adviser numbers at the company – in the 12 months to end of September the company recruited 19 new advisers, comprising five branches and five businesses opting for Raymond James’ wrap option.
However, Mr Moores said that the consequences of the case meant that the world knew that the company’s advisers follow due process. He said: “We want people working for us who follow their contractual obligations. We’ve had no litigation since then.”
Mr Moores has been at the helm of the business in the UK for 10 years, after the US parent set up shop in Europe 27 years ago.
He began his career at what was then Chase Manhattan Bank, starting out on the financial analyst and associate development programme. He spent 10 years at the bank, becoming regional sales director Europe, before becoming head of corporate development at DAB bank, and then chief executive of Selftrade.
He became chief executive of Raymond James Financial in the UK in 2004.
The company works on a slightly unusual model, in that all its advisers are self-employed but work under the Raymond James banner. It has three different models for advisers who want to join: they can open a branch of Raymond James, offer a discretionary service without changing their permissions or use the wrap for mid and back-office functions.
Mr Moores said: “Regulatory-wise, they are Raymond James; from a client’s perspective, the suitability standards are the same. The wealth managers are responsible for their losses if they give bad advice – we step in first to supervise it accordingly. They can’t walk away from a problem.”
The retail distribution review did not especially affect the company, particularly on the wrap, as the company was mainly using clean share classes. Mr Moores said: “In the situation where we did invest in trail-paying classes we rebated the trail back to the client. We were rebating trail from the early days – for us it made no commercial difference.”
The company does not offer its own products or have special deals with providers. Mr Moores said. “We are commercially independent and product and service agnostic. We have no financial incentive – we don’t charge shelf space for fund groups,” he continued.
But perhaps Mr Moores’ real legacy will be staking a claim for ownership of one’s clients. Despite the proliferation of non-dealing clauses, and whether or not Towry is relenting on them, Mr Moores insists it is better if the adviser owns the client.