Raymond James Financial Inc. has completed its acquisition of Chicago-based brokerage firm Howe Barnes Hoefer & Arnett.

The company announced the initial merger agreement on December 29, 2010.

The Howe Barnes acquisition will extend Raymond James' capital markets presence within the financial institutions segment, including community and regional banks and thrifts as well as equity research, sales, trading and investment banking resources and services. In addition, RJF will take over private wealth management of more than 5,000 clients with more than $1.7 billion in assets under management.

"This transaction presents many synergies to our organization by establishing a private client presence in San Francisco, as well as strengthening our capabilities in Chicago," said Dennis Zank, president of Raymond James & Associates. In addition, Howe Barnes' excellent reputation in Capital Markets combined with RJA's robust capabilities will improve service to our institutional clients."

The company also announced that Dan Coughlin, former Howe Barnes chairman and CEO, will join Raymond James as a managing director of investment banking and will co-head the Raymond James Institutions practice with Patrick DeLacey.

Founded in Chicago in 1915, Howe Barnes is a full-service brokerage firm. The company's equity capital markets department specializes in sale, trading and investment banking services for community banks and thrifts and provides investment advice and products to its individual and institutional customers through its private client services department.