(Reuters) - Raymond James Financial has bolstered its independent broker-dealer division in the Baltimore region with the addition of a veteran adviser team from Wells Fargo & Co.
Adviser John Lynch and his team joined Raymond James in March from Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, the independent brokerage arm of the San Francisco-based bank. The team managed more than $477 million in client assets and generated $4 million in revenue last year.
Lynch said he decided to move to Raymond James because he wanted to return to the collegial environment he had when he first started his independent practice with the boutique brokerage Wheat First Butcher Singer in the late 1990s.
Lynch said he was given the opportunity to sit down with Raymond James Chief Executive Paul Reilly for 45 minutes during his visit to the home office in St. Petersburg, Florida.
"Raymond James just really felt like coming home to us," he said.
Lynch, a 25-year industry veteran, started with Wheat First Butcher Singer in 1997 just before the firm was acquired by First Union, which later became Wachovia Securities and eventually, Wells Fargo Advisors. Prior to that, he worked for E.F. Hutton, where he started his advising career in 1987.
His group, the Lynch Retirement Investment Group, now offers securities through Raymond James Financial Services, the company's independent broker-dealer division. Lynch was joined by advisers Arthur DeLuca, Lindsay Johns and Molly Croyle, and registered associates Allie Gamble-Taylor and Andrew Fentress.
He said his team also considered moving to other brokerages, including Bank of America's Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.
"In the end, we still wanted to be independent because what we're trying to sell is independent, conflict-free advice," he said.
Raymond James Financial, which recently acquired Memphis-based brokerage Morgan Keegan, has about 6,500 financial advisers in its network and about $372 billion in total client assets. The company on Wednesday named a new director of practice planning and acquisitions, Patrick Jinks, for its independent broker-dealer division.
Reporting by Ashley Lau in New York, editing by M.D. Golan