Raymond James Financial has big plans for its RIA unit, the Investment Advisors Division.
It said this morning it has tapped Bill Van Law, the national business development head at Raymond James Financial Services, the firm’s independent b/d unit, to serve as president of the RIA business, a new position there. Managing Director Mike DiGirolamo, who oversaw the unit, will answer to Van Law.
More importantly, the RIA unit is being separated from RJFS and will operate as a standalone business. Van Law will report to Chet Helck, chief executive of RJ’s Global Private Client Group.
Van Law, 49, told me that Raymond James plans “a rather significant investment” in the RIA business. It currently has about 250 advisors on its platform, with nearly $7 billion in assets under management. He said his goal is “to create the best experience for the fee-based client and their clients.” Toward that end, Raymond James has to look at competitive pricing, best technology, and the integration of that technology with the advisors’ practices.
“A lot of these pieces we already have,” Van Law said. “We just need to apply them differently, and better, within the RIA space.”
Van Law joined the firm in 2003 as a senior vice president and divisional director for Raymond James & Associates, the firm’s employee broker/dealer. He was named national director of business development at RJFS in October 2006. He came to Raymond James from Merrill Lynch, where he had worked for 18 years in various roles, including complex director and district sales manager.
“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. 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 in a statement.
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