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.”

Written by Lisa Swan

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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.

Read full article here.

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