Sept 17 (Reuters) - Raymond James Financial Inc expanded its independent adviser force in Tennessee by landing a couple of veterans who moved their practice to the St. Petersburg, Florida-based company's broker-dealer.
Advisers Matt Lawson and William Winchester joined the firm from LPL Financial, where they had been registered for the last five years. The advisers decided to move to Raymond James after acquiring one of the company's existing independent practices.
"It's our first acquisition of an older adviser's (book of business)," said Winchester, who said he and Lawson see their acquisition as a succession plan and anticipate adding at least a couple more practices. "The end goal is to build a firm that is sustainable."
Winchester and Lawson acquired the practice of veteran Raymond James adviser John Goodson in Winchester, Tennessee. The newly combined firm, based in Chattanooga, now manages more than $150 million in client assets.
"We were very fortunate that (Raymond James) was receptive to what we're trying to do," he said. The advisers had initially planned to bring Goodson over to LPL, before deciding to join Raymond James, which helped to finance the acquisition.
Lawson and Winchester were joined by advisers Dan Norton, Michael Schleger and Clint Barfield, along with associates Denise McMillan, Ann Sisk and Jackie Mullins.
The advisers joined Raymond James Financial Services, the company's independent broker-dealer that caters to advisers who also function as business owners.
Lawson said his team had looked at about nine other firms before deciding on Raymond James.
"The technology is superior," said Lawson, who described the technology at his old firm as "piecemeal," compared to that of his new firm, which is "all wrapped into one."
Raymond James, based in St. Petersburg, Florida, also has a traditional employee broker-dealer division in the United States and small brokerage units in Canada and Britain.
With its broker-dealer subsidiaries, Raymond James has more than 6,000 advisers managing about $375 billion in client assets. The company's recent acquisition of Memphis-based brokerage Morgan Keegan added the firm's roughly 1,000 advisers.