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Mindy Diamond on Independence: Why Raymond James Rocks the Regional Space & Advisor Recruiting

A Conversation with Tash Elwyn, President and CEO of Raymond James and Associates.



Advisors’ ever-increasing desire for greater agency in how they serve clients and grow their businesses has driven the growth of models and firms outside of the traditional wirehouse space—and spawned the popularity of regional firms like Raymond James.

Because there was a time in years past when an advisor might otherwise have eschewed the thought of leaving one of the wirehouses – the biggest and best names in the business – for a smaller and relatively unknown regional firm.

But times have changed.

According to the Advisor Moves scorecard on, Raymond James Financial Services and Raymond James & Associates both placed on the top 10 list of transitions to the firm—with a gain of 425 advisors year-to-date as of this recording.

So what’s the attraction?

As President and CEO of Raymond James & Associates Tash Elwyn puts it, “it really is about the culture.”

It’s about an environment dedicated to treating advisors like clients. Where their voice is heard, and they have the ability to choose just how much autonomy they want by opting for any of the firm’s multi-channel affiliations.

It’s an ethos that comes from the top—and in this case, started at the bottom. Tash joined the firm as an advisor trainee in 1993 and worked his way from financial advisor to assistant manager, brand manager, head of the Private Client group, and on to the president and CEO role he currently holds.

And, in fact, as he shares, he still has some clients he manages money for, so his perspective of being an advisor is fresh and real.

In this episode, Tash talks about “growing up” with Raymond James and what’s driving the firm’s success, including:

  • The notion that wirehouse advisors were indoctrinated in the belief that bigger isbetter—andhowadvisors and their clients are now thinking differently and that is spurring change throughout the industry.
  • The attraction to firms with less bureaucracy and greater freedom to serve their clients—and how a regional firm like Raymond James offers a culture that advisors are nostalgic for.
  • The battle over client ownership—and how for advisors at Raymond James & Associates, it’s actually written into the contracts that the advisor owns their clients.
  • The difference between each of the four core businesses that comprise Raymond James Financial—and how providing choice via their multi-channel association model is an attractive value proposition for advisors and their clients.
  • And, ultimately, how the term “regional” has come to describe firms with a more flexible, community-oriented culture with a national presence.

In a world that seems to be evolving at a pace that few can keep up with, firms like Raymond James have found their way to get right to the heart of what’s changing most: Advisor mindset. And they’ve proven that a firm focused on providing greater latitude and choice in how an advisor conducts business can be successful for all.

This is one more episode in our ongoing series exploring the regional space—worth the time to listen to and gain an understanding of how the model is changing within an evolving landscape.

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