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Raymond James lands $330M ex-Wells team

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The draw of regional broker-dealers shows no signs of abating. Case in point: two wirehouse advisors recently bolted from their firm to join one.

Formerly of Wells Fargo, Todd Hamilton and Robert Thompson joined Raymond James & Associates in Chicago, Raymond James' employee BD channel, in November.

More than 400 advisors joined regional BDs last year, according to hiring announcements and BrokerCheck data analyzed by On Wall Street. Following a phony accounts scandal and other regulatory issues that came to light in 2016, more than half of the new recruits came from Wells Fargo. The data does not include all hires.

The team previously managed $330 million in client assets.

Raymond James’ technology and in-house marketing agency initially appealed to the team, according to a statement from the firm. The advisors said they felt a sense of collaboration and of promises kept.

“Everything that was discussed during our home office visit has been proven and met, and the support has exceeded our expectations,” Thompson said in the statement.

A spokeswoman for Wells Fargo didn’t reply to a request for comment on the moves.

Raymond James reported a record headcount for the fourth quarter of 2018 with 7,815 employee and independent advisors. The regional BD has also been opening new offices, placing itself on a more competitive footing with its larger wirehouse competitors. The firm has also expanded the geographical reach of its employee BD unit, opening new offices in the West Coast and Northeast.

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Thompson joined Raymond James after a lengthy run in the wirehouse space. The advisor has 35 years of experience, including over a decade of work at Wells Fargo and five years at Morgan Stanley after getting his start at A.G. Edwards, which later became Wells Fargo.

Hamilton has 24 years of experience including 12 years with Merrill Lynch, before spending a decade at Wells Fargo.

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