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Raymond James Launches 'Private Wealth Advisor' Training, Designation

In October, the first cohort of 49 advisors will graduate from the new program, part of the firm's strategic emphasis on expanding resources for advisors to clients with more than $5 million in assets.

Raymond James has established a Private Wealth Advisor program, an education and training initiative for advisors who cater to high-net-worth clients. The first cohort of 49 advisors, part of the beta rollout of the initiative, are set to graduate from the program next month, having earned the firm's new Private Wealth Advisor designation.

“This is a really important component of a larger, broader initiative here at Raymond James to deepen the solutions and support for our advisors serving high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients,” said Kim Jenson, chief operating officer of the firm’s private client group. “The designation program is really about building on an already strong platform of advice and planning and solutions for advisors who focus their practice on clients who have more than $5 million investible.”

In its Global Wealth Solutions division, the firm has doubled the size of its wealth strategy and consulting team through the launch of the program.

Jenson said the firm expects to have over 200 advisors complete the program by the end of 2023. Raymond James has partnered with Cannon Financial, a professional training and coaching organization, to provide the education, centered around nine components: trusts, estate planning, taxes, business ownership planning, transfers of wealth, banking and credit, balance sheet and personal financial statements, insurance, long-term care, and behavioral consulting with families.

Raymond James will also provide continuing education to the designation holders. Candidates pay a fee to enter the program, but it’s reimbursed once they graduate.

The firm is expanding its Private Wealth Services division, which launched earlier this year with the appointment of Kevin Ruth as senior vice president of Private Wealth. Ruth most recently served as head of wealth planning and personal trust at Fidelity Investments.

Laetitia Boyle, senior vice president and head of sales, education and engagement, said the firm has made enhancements to its private wealth offering for clients, including a donor-advised fund, securities-based lending and lines of credit and residential lending capabilities.

“What we want to do is augment our current platform and make it easier for advisors to offer this more customized and sometimes more sophisticated advice to the clients that are looking for that, and we’re also at the same time making sure we’re broadening and deepening that expertise across the firm,” Boyle said.

Raymond James’ investment bank has also brought more private and alternative investment options to the advisors. The investment bank launched a training program for advisors, on an invitation-only basis, to learn about business owners who may be planning for a succession, selling a company or raising capital, Jenson said.

“The private wealth market is the fastest growing segment of the market, and that growth is coming from sales of businesses, people transitioning into retirement, business succession and so forth,” Jenson said. “Our advisors are already very skilled in serving high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth families, and this just helps take them to the next level and allow them to focus more exclusively if they wish.”

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