Raymond James Financial will rename its two independent contractor subsidiaries, Investment Management & Research (IM&R) and Robert Thomas Securities, to Raymond James Financial Services (RJFS), although officials insist the two operations will remain independent.
The change is expected sometime in the first quarter of 1999, pending regulatory approval.
IM&R President M. Anthony Greene will become chairman of the new company and retain control of IM&R, which will now be called the Investment Management Division of RJFS. Greene will have recruiting responsibilities for the new company. Robert Thomas Securities President J. Stephen Putnam will be president of RJFS. Putnam will be responsible for operations and technology and will retain his supervisory role at Robert Thomas, which will be called the Securities Division.
The main reason for the change: brand name recognition.
"A strong brand name is important now, and it will be even more important five and 10 years from now because of the preponderance of expansion," says Chet Helck, senior vice president of both IM&R and Robert Thomas Securities. "We believe that to be in the arena for consideration, we must have public awareness."
The consolidation is part of a national branding campaign whereby Raymond James purchased the naming rights to the new Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 13-year contract will cost RJFS about $2.5 million annually, according to a spokesperson.
IM&R has pursued a national branding campaign of its own over the past few years, sponsoring National Public Radio programming and running commercials on CNN and other cable stations.
"We're now targeting our efforts on the Raymond James name," Helck says.
With 2,633 reps, the newly consolidated RJFS company becomes the second largest independent contractor firm in the country, Raymond James officials claim.
"I have always identified the relationship between IM&R and Raymond James Financial with clients anyway, so this just makes it a lot easier to explain, " says Linda Laborde Deane, an IM&R rep in New Orleans. "The only negative is that I'll have to reprint all my letterhead and signage."