Raymond James & Associates Inc. is making gains in the battle among broker-dealers to attract advisors leaving from troubled competitors. The St. Petersburg, Fla.-based firm announced today that it added 43 new financial advisors to its ranks in the last three months of 2008 who brought a total of $3 billion in assets with them.

The advisors joined RJ&A, the traditional employee broker-dealer subsidiary of Raymond James Financial, from a variety of financial services firms. Among the new hires are Todd Brandstadt, who came from Wachovia/A.G. Edwards in Grand Rapids, Mich., with $150 million in assets; James Sims of Atlanta, who was previously with Merrill Lynch and manages more than $90 million in client assets; and Vicky Campbell, Ruth Doepel and Therese Meike, previously with Wachovia/A.G. Edwards in Naperville, Ill., who together have a combined $400 million in client assets.

Also noteworthy among the 43 advisors are Gerry Saelzer and Jeff Atlas of Stuart, Fla., who joined RJ&A from Wachovia/A.G. Edwards in November with more than $300 million in client assets; Steve Crabtree of Franklin, Tenn., who joined in November from UBS with more than $180 million in client assets; and Charles Nemes and Timothy Rush of Novi, Mich., who joined in October from Merrill Lynch with more than $520 million in assets.

"The caliber of this quarter's recruits is exceptional," said RJ&A President Dennis Zank. "Advisors are looking for stability in these turbulent times. Our firm's conservative management structure allows advisors to enjoy complete support and trust. In addition, being recognized nationally in 2008 for both employee advisor and investor satisfaction are proof that our advisor focused, client driven culture is the best in the industry."

Raymond James & Associates is one of three principal broker-dealer subsidiaries of Raymond James Financial. RJF has more than 5,000 financial advisors serving 1.8 million accounts in 2,200 locations throughout the United States, Canada and overseas. Total client assets are approximately $167 billion, of which approximately $27 billion are managed by the firm's asset management subsidiaries.