In its third-quarter earnings call on Thursday, Raymond James Financial said it is just as focused on growing its presence on the West Coast as it is elsewhere in the country. Paul Reilly, chairman and CEO of Raymond James Financial, said there is already a good pipeline of recruits joining the firm out west, and that the company moved a November board meeting to California to show they were serious about growing there. “If we can do it in the rest of the country, there's no reason we can't do it in the three states on the West Coast," he said.
According to a recent University of Toronto study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, one's wealth may be perceivable through facial appearance. Researchers sought to discover how accurately we can judge a person through just facial cues and features. The subjects, 81 college students, viewed photographs of 160 white men and women between the ages of 18 and 35, half of whom reported annual incomes over $150,000 and half reported incomes under $35,000. When asked to choose which person was rich or poor, through photos of just a person’s face, the participants were correct more than half of the time. The researchers believe that “mouths, not eyes, may be the windows to our souls.” In another experiment, subjects guessed socioeconomic status based on photos of just a person’s eyes or mouth; the results “by mouth” came out more accurately. A number of theories and supporting hypotheses have come from the study, such as the idea that any sign of positivity in one’s face corresponds with being wealthy, and emotions due to one’s life experiences help build a facial structure: “One’s facial musculature may hypertrophy, and one’s skin may fold in ways that reflect these repeated expressions, resulting in a neutral or resting appearance that resembles the person’s baseline, or most frequent, feeling state.”
A new report titled “U.K. Wealth Management at a Crossroads” shows that firms are struggling to flourish and grow in the ever-competitive, ever-changing field. The research, sponsored by the SEI Wealth Platform, follows dilemmas across the pond that run parallel to the industry in the U.S.; legislation has complicated processes, outsourcing and margin compression stand out as major obstacles, and perhaps most importantly, advisors must grow into or along with technology’s rapid infiltration and growth. “Client expectations have evolved and increased so significantly that firms need to adapt their business models in order to meet them, while at the same time keeping costs down and seizing opportunities for growth. If firms are able to control their cost bases, deliver high-quality products and services, and do so as efficiently as possible, then they have a fighting chance of sustaining a profitable business in an ever-changing environment,” Brett Williams, managing director at SEI Wealth Platform, U.K. Private Banking, said. The study, assembled through comprehensive interviews with “C-suite executives from 12 of the top 50 U.K. wealth management firms with more than £500 billion in assets under management,” also describes the measures such firms are taking to conquer these predicaments; most of the study’s participants mentioned M&A’s key role in growth, as well as in the modernization of the slow-to-catch-up field. One CEO expressed that “scale is important, especially when faced with pressure on fees or an identified need to invest in new technology. The bigger firms can withstand the buffeting.”