Raymond James named Bill Van Law today as president of Raymond James Investment Advisors Division, the firm's registered investment advisor (RIA) private client business, officials said.

In his new position, Van Law will report to Chet Helck, CEO of the company's Global Private Client Group, and continue to work closely with current IAD Managing Director Mike DiGirolamo.

The division will operate as a stand-alone unit, signaling James' strategy to expand its RIA business within the company.

"Given the industry trend of advisors seeking more choice in how they serve their clients and manage their practice, we see expanding our RIA business as a strategic imperative and in alignment with the firm's growth strategy,'' Helck said. "Bill's industry experience and track record of results over the last nine years at Raymond James have contributed substantially to the firm's success in both of our domestic broker-dealers."

Van Law joined Raymond James in 2003 as senior vice president and divisional director for Raymond James & Associates, the firm's traditional employee broker-dealer. While there, he developed the firm's independent employee model and contributed to training, education and development opportunities for financial advisors across the firm.

Van Law was promoted to senior vice president and national director of business development for Raymond James Financial Services (RJFS), the firm's independent broker-dealer, in October 2006 and led the unit's efforts to recruit the industry's top financial advisors. He also helped develop and execute strategic plans for RJFS and supported the growth of not just the independent contractor division, but also the financial institutions and investment advisors divisions.

Prior to joining St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Raymond James, Van Law spent 18 years at Merrill Lynch in various leadership positions, including complex director and district sales manager, and began his career as a successful financial advisor.

Following Van Law's transition to IAD, the RJFS business development team will report to Scott Curtis, president of RJFS.

-Jim McConville