OnWallStreet.com took a look at how much top firms pay their $1 million producers. The businesses generally reward such financial advisors with a combination of cash and deferred awards.

 At No. 11 is Wells Fargo Advisors, with a total of $467,180. $459,680 is part of the cash grid, while $7,500 is deferred compensation.

 No. 10 is Morgan Stanley, with $440,000 in cash, and $40,000 in deferred money, for a total of $480,000.

 Merrill Lynch is No. 9, with $495,000 in compensation. Of that, $430,000 is the cash grid, and $65,000 is deferred.

 At No. 8 is Janney, with $450,000 in the cash grid, and $50,000 in deferred money, for a total of $500,000.

 No. 7 is RBC. Producers there get $501,800 in compensation, with $460,000 in cash grid, and $41,800 in deferred money.

 Ameriprise Financial is No. 6, with a total of $505,000. Of that, $460,000 is cash grid money, and $45,000 is deferred compensation.

 Two companies tie for No. 4 with $510,000 in compensation – Wedbush, with $500,000 in cash and $10,000 in deferred money, and Stifel, with $470,000 in cash, and $40,000 in deferred money.

 At No. 3 is Hilliard Lyons, at $512,750. Of that money, $467,750 is cash, and $45,000 is deferred compensation.

 No. 2 is Raymond James, with $522,500 in money. Of that, $455,000 is cash grid money, and $67,500 is deferred funds.

 At the top of the list is UBS, with $526,750 in compensation. That breaks down to $437,500 for the cash grid, and $89,250 in deferred money for the No. 1 company.

Written by Lisa Swan

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It looks like not everything is smooth sailing at Morgan Keegan these days, as the brokerage house becomes part of Raymond James. RegisteredRep.com reports that despite the retention offers Raymond James has put on the table to keep Morgan Keegan’s financial advisors in the fold, seven advisors have left since December, according to FINRA records. That’s not all – Morgan Keegan lost around 190 advisors in the six months before, the publication notes, after Regions Financial Corp put the brokerage up for sale. All told, Morgan Keegan has lost 15% of their advisors since they first went up for sale. In some of the recent defections, the people leaving were already planning on going elsewhere before Raymond James agreed to buy the company. This includes folks like Terrence Puricelli, who moved on to Wells Fargo Advisors, and Charles Allain III, who departed for LPL Financial. Other advisors left in January, with one going to Wells Fargo, two going to JP Morgan Securities, one departing for Wunderlich Securities, and another moving on to Ameritas Investment Corp. Ron Edde, a senior executive recruiter for Armstrong Financial Group, claimed that those who left in January were what RegisteredRep.com characterizes as “average or below-average producers.” He also said that the retention offers Raymond James put on the table would vest at the end of March, and were only for big producers. Edde also said that those financial advisors who brought in $200,000 or less did not have much of a future elsewhere. “A prostitute will have a better chance of getting a job at the Vatican,” Edde argued.

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Recruiters agree that Raymond James and Morgan Keegan are a cultural fit, but how Morgan Keegan’s financial advisors react to those retention bonuses will be key to whether they stay.

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After buying Morgan Keegan’s brokerage house, Raymond James expects that most of the 1,000 financial advisors will stay with the company when the two firms merge their business, AdvisorOne reports. This, even though some have grumbled that the retention package Raymond James is offering the Morgan Keegan advisors is not quite enticing enough.

Tash Elwyn of Raymond James, told AdvisorOne that “within 30 days of the timing of the announcement of the acquisition” on January 12,” we can say that we will have hosted visits with close to 50% of the Morgan Keegan advisors at our home office in an effort to immediately acquaint them with the fit and match of our two firms.” Elwyn said that while “many firms do a dog-and-pony show in some major cities and share a steak dinner,” Raymond James’ ”effort is about the compatibility of the combined culture and the story we can share.”

Yet some recruiters say that Raymond James ‘offers of seven-year deals, offering 40% to70% of production to the advisors who bring in $300,000 or more in commissions or fees may not be enough. Rick Peterson, a Houston-based recruiter, told AdvisorOne that “Raymond James will have to make an extremely compelling case,” given that “the retention deal is not even close to what the full-service competition is offering.”

Some say the company has done just that, given that they offer better technology and marketing services than Morgan Keegan advisors used to have.  In addition, Elwyn says, “Although I’m sure the Morgan Keegan advisors have been making a Plan B, C and D over the past six months and have had plenty of opportunity to execute such plans, I’m confident that these advisors will continue to be just as loyal.”

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Big change is coming to Raymond James, especially after its merger with Morgan Keegan, OnWallStreet.com says. Recruiters are still weighing in on what it all means.

“The merger will work unless they woefully underpay on a retention package,” Mickey Wasserman of Michael Wasserman and Associates told OnWallStreet.com. “Everybody’s taking a wait and see attitude right now, and I believe that there’s a bit of relief that a private equity firm did not come into play. I think that this is a good marriage.”

Charles “Chip” Roame of Tiburon Strategic Advisors argues that picking up Morgan Keegan “is a great buy for Raymond James, albeit at a steep price.” He said that “while Raymond James will absorb much of the Morgan Keegan managerial infrastructure, complicated organizational structures like this have a way of clearing themselves up a year later as some people retire, move to companies, etc.”

“They’re not playing in the same ballpark as the wirehouses, but it’s a ball park that they want to be in, Manhattan recruiter Rich Schwarzkopf told OnWallStreet.com. “They’ve found their niche in small towns,” he notes, “in a way more like an Edward Jones.”

There is still a lot to do before the two companies fit together. Tash Elwyn, an executive with Raymond James, told OnWallStreet.com that “there’s going to be a lot of heavy lifting for many months to come.”

Written by Lisa Swan

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New RJA President Tash Elwyn takes the helm and Morgan Keegan advisors sweep in……..Tash Elwyn’s job just got more complicated.

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Raymond James’ $930 million purchase of Morgan Keegan’s brokerage company has gotten the financial advisor world buzzing as to how it will all work out, OnWallStreet.com reports. Recruiters say that the two first are a good “cultural fit,” but also say that the retention bonuses Raymond James has offered to Morgan Keegan’s financial advisors may help determine whether those staffers will stay.

“I think that the Morgan Keegan/Raymond James merger will work,” Mickey Wasserman, president of Michael Wasserman & Associates, tells OnWallStreet.com. “Unless they woefully underpay on a retention package, I think their top performers will get what they want. It’s still open.”

“Everybody’s taking a wait and see attitude right now, and I believe that there’s a bit of relief that a private equity firm did not come into play,” Wasserman says. “I think that this is a good marriage … Similar culture, similar types of advisors, and Morgan Keegan FAs can only take advantage of better technology.”

Mindy Diamond, who serves as president and CEO for Diamond Consultants, agreed on the culture, saying that Raymond James and Morgan Keegan are “two like cultures, both Southern based, and I actually think it’s a good match.” She says that “in the months that Morgan Keegan advisors were waiting for a home, if they were out exploring their options, almost all of them were out talking to Raymond James anyway.”

Ron Edde, senior executive recruiter for Armstrong Financial Group, says that the “people on the low end of the production scale, and that’s $350,000 and below, are real disappointed,” while the “people at the very top end, the $1 million plus people, at least the ones I have in my pipeline, are equally disappointed.” He says that “the middle seem to be pretty happy, the $450,000 to $750,000 guys.”

Written by Lisa Swan

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