Stephen Besse has joined the Walnut Creek, Calif., office of Raymond James & Associates as a senior vice president of investments.

Besse joins the firm from Morgan Stanley, where he managed more than $360 million in client assets and had annual fees and commissions of about $1.3 million.

Besse began his career in 1994 when he joined Smith Barney as a financial advisor, remaining at the firm after Morgan Stanley acquired it.

“After being at one firm for 20 years, the decision to make a change was not made without significant thought and due diligence,” said Besse. “For me, the culture, the focus on serving individual investors and the firm’s financial strength made Raymond James the right fit for my practice.”

Service associate Vanessa Jimenez, who joined Besse at Smith Barney in 2006, will remain with Besse's team and handle all operations and administrative duties.