Raymond James Investment Services  

Raymond James reveals expansion plans

Raymond James reveals expansion plans

Raymond James is hoping to replicate the success it had in the US of attracting female financial advisers by launching a Network for Women Advisers. 

While Raymond James originated in the US more than 50 years ago it only came to the UK in 2001 and since then has managed to muster more than 100 practices spread across the country.

Now Cynthia Poole, the Georgia-born head of relationship management and business support for Raymond James in the UK, is going to take one of the big success stories of the US version of the company and launch a network for female advisers in London.

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According to Raymond James's website since 1994, the US business has had a Network for Women Advisers that has grown from a grassroots effort to more than 1,100 women.

From practice management seminars to coaching programs and more, the US version of the network offers resources that Raymond James claims entrepreneurial advisers and their teams need to reach their potential.

Ms Poole said now was the time to take this idea from the US and create a UK version as demographics are changing, with more women in the retail market making investment and wealth management decisions.

She said promoting female wealth managers will help to grow the Raymond James business in the UK as many women may feel more comfortable discussing financial planning with a female adviser.  

Currently about 14 per cent of Raymond James' wealth managers are female. At the time of writing the firm was unable to say what target it has for female representation in the future. 

Ms Poole said: "30 per cent of all small businesses are run by women, and by 2020 32 per cent of total investible wealth will be controlled by women."

Ms Poole added that women are generally under represented across the wealth management industry, and she hopes that highlighting the achievements of the women working in wealth management now will encourage more females to join the industry.

At an event to launch the network, female wealth managers that are part of the Raymond James network spoke of how, at the start of their careers, at other firms, they were discouraged from taking professional exams or told not to wear trousers at work.

Kerry Nicholls, deputy head of relationship management & training, said: "It was a different world in the 1980s. A lot of the problems were not specific to finance but I was told not to take the exams because I am a woman."

The launch of Raymond James's network for female advisers comes after back in July, the Chartered Institute Insurance (CII) stated financial advice must become a more appealing and rewarding career choice for women if it is to be relevant to all of society.