© 2020 Arizent. All rights reserved.
Recruiters React To Raymond James-Morgan Keegan Deal
Ron Edde, Senior Executive Recruiter, Armstrong Financial Group<br><br>
"The people on the low end of the production scale, and that’s $350,000 and below, are real disappointed. They’re either going to get almost nothing or nothing at all. The people at the very top end, the $1 million plus people, at least the ones I have in my pipeline, are equally disappointed, because they were expecting a lot more and are very cognizant of the fact that they could walk across the street, in some cases literally, and get two and in some cases three times as much as they’re being offered to stay at Ray Jay. The middle seem to be pretty happy, the $450,000 to $750,000 guys."

“In terms of the deal, I think Ray Jay is a solid firm, good reputation."
Mindy Diamond, President & CEO, Diamond Consultants<br><br>
"They're two like cultures, both Southern based, and I actually think it’s a good match.”

"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. Many of them would have been very happy or had Raymond James as tops on their list of a possible firm to go to if they were going to leave."

“Some may be disappointed by the size of the deal because it’s less than what other similarly situated advisors at a firm that was acquired received in historical acquisitions. On the flip side, if they’re all about the deal, then they’re going to go to a wirehouse, and none of these guys want to go to a wirehouse. Raymond James is a really good choice."
Danny Sarch, President, Leitner Sarch Consultants<br><br>
“I don’t want to say everybody’s satisfied. I’m sure there are going to be some people that are disappointed ... Considering that Merrill and Morgan Stanley gave those advisors their top deal 100% at the time of their merger three years ago, [and] this top deal is 70%, that strikes me as in line with the regional firms as generally a notch below the big firms. It makes some sense to me.”

"I’m guardedly optimistic for them. As Paul Reilly, the CEO of Raymond James, said, the track record of the industry in making mergers work is pretty bad. But if Morgan Keegan advisors want to get out from under Regions bank and work for a very similarly minded firm for what they liked about Morgan Keegan during their non-scandal years, then Raymond James is a really good choice.”
Rich Schwarzkopf, President, Schwarzkopf Recruiting Services<br><br>
“Generally the firm (Raymond James) is held in fairly high regard around the Street.”

“It takes a long time to hire 1,000 reps. They just added 1,000, if they all join, overnight. So it’s not like they’re under any great pressure to recruit. They don’t have the problems of other firms that lose brokers and their attrition rate is greater than their hiring rate."

“There is a question about how quickly can you grow. From a southern regional firm to a firm now that’s almost the size of UBS (in number of advisors). It’s a question. How do you deal with that many brokers and all the different branches and different operations? It’s a lot to absorb, and now you pull in another 1,000 (advisors). You’re increasing your debt by a good deal of money. There are more question marks than there were a couple of years ago, for sure.”
Michael King, President, Michael King Associates<br><br>
“If the retention package is poor, I think a lot of them are going to look. I think a lot of them are looking already, but more seriously look.”

“It’s going to be a bigger firm than it was. It will be almost as big as UBS (in number of advisors), which is fairly substantial. That’s going to make a difference, and it makes them more of a player. I still don’t know long term whether that firm will survive long term. None of us can judge that. I think they have a better chance of survival now because of the combined firms.”

“Culturally, I don’t think it’s a bad fit. But Moody’s put Raymond James on negative watch. That says something right there.”
Bill Willis, President & CEO, Willis Consulting<br><br>
"Once someone is offered money to stay, it kind of puts them up for bids, and some people are going to say, ‘Gee, that’s great. I’m going to just stay.’ Others are going to say, ‘Well, if I can that to stay, I wonder what I can get to leave. There’s some of that."

"Some of the top producers, who are in major markets, might find a match at some of the boutique firms, just because the size may appeal if their business is a fit. Others in more medium to smaller markets, are really going to have fewer choices. If you’re in a small town, and if you eliminate the wirehouses, sometimes there’s not much more left."

"I do believe that culturally I think they have a chance of making this work ... Even though Raymond James is national, it maintains a regional flavor, and has a very good reputation for being in the brokerage corner and have a lot of good common sense. I think there’s a pretty good match."
Steve Rosen, Co-Founder, Rainmaker Associates<br><br>
"Certainly the retention package is going to be key. I’m sure most of the advisors, some of them I know, are all getting their back up plan, getting their options. The whole process for them was grueling. This one is going to buy them, that one is going to buy them. Nothing happened."

"I think it’s going to play out like every other one does. There’s going to be some people, if they get a little bit of money, they’re going to stay ... How that varies I think will directly depend on how much money they are going to give the brokers.”
Mickey Wasserman, President, Michael Wasserman & Associates<br><br>
"I think that the Morgan Keegan/Raymond James merger will work. 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. 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.”