Raymond James is making a major effort to expand its registered investment advisory business and today named four industry veterans as regional directors who are charged with recruiting independent RIAs to the company.

The new regional directors wil focus on supporting Raymond James' existing RIA relationships and recruiting successful new firms, teams and advisors, said Bill Van Law, president of Raymond James' Investment Advisors Division.

The St. Petersburg, Fla.-based firm now has 100 RIA firms with total assets under management of about $8 billion, Van Law said. The company wants to more than double the number of its affiliated RIAs over the next two or three years, he said, and has set a minimum size of $50 million in AUM for the new firms, although it's targeting ones with $100 million or more.

The company currently has some affiliated RIAs that manage $1 billion plus, Van Law adds, but very high-quality advisors in small communities may manage $60 million and be very profitable. "We don't want to exclude them," he says.

Raymond James is looking to attract RIAs from all over the country and established the four regional director positions based on that goal. But the two areas where Raymond James sees the biggest opportunity are the Northeast and West, Van Law says. "We have the lowest concentration of advisors in those areas, but we see plenty of opportunity in the whole country," he adds.

The company has been restructuring its advisor division over the last year, with the goal of making a major push into the RIA space, Van Law says. Eight new people were hired for the Investment Advisors Division, including the four regional directors who will lead the growth effort. Raymond James also has been filling in gaps so that its RIA platform offers all of the same technology, trust, lending and other services that an advisor at a wirehouse would have at his or her fingertips, he says.

"The value proposition is that an advisor sitting at a wirehouse can say that if they [come to Raymond James], they can have the same things that they have today. If the person is an independent contractor at a broker-dealer or an existing RIA, they can look at what we offer as an uptick in tools or resources," says Van Law, who adds that the company plans more announcements about its RIA platform in the next 60 to 90 days.

The four new regional directors who Raymond James announced today include:

Sean Marrin, based in Denver, covering the West. He joins Raymond James from LPL, where he was a successful Masters Recruiter. Prior to joining LPL, Marrin spent more than 18 years with Charles Schwab, where he served in a variety of roles. He spent his last nine years at Schwab Advisor Services as a senior business development officer. His prior positions include key accounts manager, branch manager and investment consultant.  

Chuck Curtis is the regional director for the Central region based in St. Petersburg. He has extensive experience in the financial services industry and spent more than 28 years at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and predecessor firms. A successful branch manager, Curtis was named to On Wall Street’s Top 10 Branch Managers of the Year and was on MSSB’s National Branch Manager Council. He managed Smith Barney’s Oakbrook, Ill., office as well as the firm’s Tampa branch and most recently was the complex director for Central Florida.

Glenn Flego is the regional director for the Northeast. He joins Raymond James from Fidelity, where he was vice president, institutional wealth services. Prior to Fidelity, he was the head of sales and marketing for Interactive Advisory Software, a provider of  technology solutions for portfolio measurement, financial planning, CRM, trading and process management.

Christian Williams is the regional director for the Southeast, based in Raleigh, N.C. He joined Raymond James in 2007 as a vice president and business development consultant for the firm’s independent broker-dealer, where he successfully recruited numerous high-quality advisors to the Independent Contractors Division, the Financial Institutions Division and the Investment Advisors Division. Prior to joining Raymond James, Williams was with UBS, where he was a director of retail offices in North Carolina.

“There’s no question in my mind,” said Williams, “that the industry as a whole is moving toward the RIA model. This is the third inning of a nine inning ball game; Raymond James is positioning itself to take advantage of this trend better than any other financial services firm.”