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Janney notches $1.1B recruits in Q1. What’s next?

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NAPLES, Fla. — Janney Montgomery Scott hired 14 financial advisors managing nearly $1.1 billion client assets in the first quarter, according to the company. That slightly exceeds the roughly $1 billion in new recruits the firm brought on during the same period a year ago.

The firm’s recruiting streak has brought on 200 advisors since 2015. And Janney is matching that expansion in other departments, adding more practice management resources and new digital resources.

Among other additions, Janney has embedded a financial planning expert in each of its five regions as well as business development officers, “who are out in the field helping FAs migrate their practices to more advisory from transactional,” says Jerry Lombard, president of the firm’s private client group, which has 836 advisors.

Janney has boosted its practice management coaching staff to five from two a year ago, and has plans to hire a sixth team member.

“What advisors tell us is that if you want to teach me something, you need to sit next to me. They’re not likely to do a 45-minute webex,” says Caitlin Ulmer-Long, director of business productivity at Janney.

On the digital front, the firm introduced compliant texting this year in conjunction with Hearsay Social. Advisors can’t take trade orders via text, but they can quickly get in touch with clients to provide reassurance during critical moments, such as market volatility. Janney has been expanding the number of advisor websites, which now stands at 500.

Meanwhile, the firm has continued its recruiting success despite upheaval early last year following the departure of two wirehouses, UBS and Morgan Stanley, from the Broker Protocol. Those exits initially led to fears that more firms would follow suit, leading to the collapse of an industry-wide agreement that had smoothed industry moves for 15 years by permitting brokers to take basic client contact information with them when they changed employers.

Many of Janney’s newest advisors have joined from wirehouses, such as two teams that recently joined from Wells Fargo Advisors and Merrill Lynch and had a combined AUM of $373 million.

Still, even with its recruiting successes, the Philadelphia-based firm isn’t aiming to leapfrog beyond its traditional, contiguous base in the Eastern part of the U.S.

“If something came up in say Chicago, maybe we’d skip Indiana. There’s no rule that says we can’t. But we are focused on finding quality advisors,” Lombard says.

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