Raymond James pins growth hopes on adviser M&A

Raymond James pins growth hopes on adviser M&A

Wealth manager Raymond James is eyeing growth plans linked to further frenzied merger and acquisition activity among financial advisers.

The firm's principal offering to advisers is the technology and infrastructure to allow them to act as discretionary fund managers for clients.

Raymond James do not select investments for clients, which remains a decision for the adviser.

Article continues after advert

Cynthia Poole, director of relationship management at the company, said the discretionary fund management part of the Raymond James targets intermediary firms with assets under advice of £10m or more, roughly the largest “10 per cent or so” of all UK adviser firms.

Consolidation in the sector means could mean more large firms coming into the Raymond James orbit.

Ms Poole said the company have around 50 adviser firms using its service to provide discretionary fund management services.

"We are not looking for it to be thousands of firms. But there are an increasing number of advisers who want to do the investment management function themselves, especially since the Retail Distribution Review.”

She added that the firms that are clients of Raymond James “are the buyers in the push for consolidation, not the sellers".

"I don’t think we have lost a client [to a bigger firm] because of the consolidation that is happening.”

Merger and acquisition activity in the adviser market generally falls into one of two camps - either smaller firms are snapped up by purpose built consolidators, such as Attivo, Bellpenny and AFH, or they are absorbed network-like structures owned by product providers as in the case of Aberdeen Standard and Old Mutual Wealth, which house advice arms 1825 and Intrinsic respectively.

The Financial Conduct Authority is increasingly looking into both types of merger activity to see if clients are disadvantaged in price or choice by being made part of a much bigger organisation.