Advisers with a combined $240 million in client assets have joined the independent side of Raymond James, according to the firm.

Jeffrey Grandy, Sophia Bliablias-Grandy, Douglas Souvenir and Keoni Hudson-Rasmussen, who were working for Toronto-based Foresters Financial Services and made annual fees and commissions of close to $1.8 million, have joined Raymond James Financial Services in Lake Oswego, Ore., the firm says. They will report to Western regional director Bill Counsman, according to the company.

The group will operate as part of Kruse Woods Financial Partners, an independent firm that offers securities through Raymond James' independent broker-dealer. Client service specialists David Acker and Marie Fromont have also joined the team. In addition to the new recruits, Kruse Woods has 10 other advisers, according to the firm’s website.

Jeffrey Grandy and the three other advisers previously worked for Toronto-based Foresters Financial Services.

“We all wanted to be more independent, without the restrictions on investment and product offerings that being a captive employee imposed,” Grandy said. He adds that Raymond James’ wide choice of investment options and “really superior technology” are the main reasons behind the team’s choice.

Grandy and Bliablias-Grandy, husband and wife, will be working together, focusing on servicing teachers, teacher organizations and other public employees. They do not set a minimum account size and pride themselves on being advisers “willing to work with anyone,” according to a Raymond James spokeswoman.

They both started their careers at First Investors, Grandy in 1990 and Bliablias-Grandy in 2001, FINRA BrokerCheck records show. The couple transitioned to Foresters Financial when it acquired First Investors in 2011.

Souvenir followed the same route, having joined First Investors in 1995. Hudson-Rasmussen is a newcomer to the industry who started at Foresters Financial in early 2013. He will be working alongside Kruse Woods’ senior adviser Richard Doel, according to a spokeswoman.

The team’s decision to join Raymond James reflects their appreciation of the company’s technology, client-first focus, financial strength and robust resources, Counsman said.

A spokeswoman for Foresters Financial could not immediately be reached for comment.

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