Raymond James is developing an agreement for advisors and their clients that will encompass the entirety of their relationship, making it easier for clients to open additional accounts.

The “mastery advisory agreement” will cover the overall client-advisor relationship, according to Jeff Dowdle, the firm’s chief operating officer and president of its asset management group.

For example, when a client signs up to open a separately managed account, and that client eventually wants open a Freedom account or an Ambassador account, the client can do that without having to fill out any paperwork, Dowdle said.

“They can do it based on verbal instructions with their advisor,” he said Wednesday at Raymond James’ 2022 Analyst and Investor Day conference.

With a Freedom account, clients have the flexibility to choose from a range of carefully constructed portfolios that align with their specific financial goals, according to information from the company.

An Ambassador account is for an investment advisory program in which the client's advisor invests the client's assets on a discretionary basis in a range of securities, company information shows.

The master advisory agreement will save a lot of time and effort, according to Dowdle.

“That will make the advisor’s life a lot more efficient. Right now, if they want to open up a mixture of fee-based accounts, they have to have separate contracts for each one and it’s very labor intensive,” he said.

Direct Indexing for Carillon

Separately, Carillon Tower Advisers is exploring direct indexing capabilities, according to Bob Kendall, president of the Raymond James subsidiary.

“One of the areas that you will see us get in likely at the beginning of next year will be direct indexing. Direct indexing as an SMA manager is both defensive, but if you believe in passive, if you believe in indexing, if you believe in ESG, we believe that direct indexing will be the recipient of a lot of assets,” Kendall said at the conference.

Technology

Meanwhile, Raymond James chair and chief executive officer Paul Reilly reaffirmed the firm’s commitment to enhancing its client app.

“That client app is going to be focused not on how do we connect the client around the advisor to Raymond James, but the experience of the client with the advisor,” Reilly said at the conference.

“Not only will they get all the access, information, self-service you’d expect on a client app, but it’s even going as far as digital assistants helping with meetings, with scheduling, with that whole communication between client and advisor, not between client and home office,” he added. “One of our differentiators with our advisors is they feel like we’re trying to grow their business, not compete with them directly.”

The development of actionable alerts dubbed “Opportunities” for both advisors and clients was also discussed at the conference by private client group president Scott Curtis. The alerts were previously discussed last week by chief information officer Vin Campagnoli during a media briefing at Raymond James’ 2022 Elevate conference.

“We’re going to surface up opportunities for advisors that they can have conversations with their clients and at the same time surfacing up for clients a potential opportunity to talk to their advisor about,” Curtis said at this week’s conference.

For example, clients might be asked if they’re using Raymond James’ trust services, its bank or if they have a donor advised fund, according to Curtis.

“Perhaps the client doesn’t utilize [a service]. But given their profile, it looks like maybe that would benefit the client but doing that in a way that’s consistent with respecting the advisor and the client relationship,” Curtis said.

Geographic Opportunity

Meanwhile, Raymond James sees an opportunity to grow its client base in the Northeast and West Coast regions of the U.S., where the highest percentage of high-net-worth and ultra-HNW clients typically live, according to Curtis.

“If we look specifically in the Northeast and we look out West, that’s where the greatest percentage of those clients reside, and we know in that private wealth space our market share is less than 2% whereas the overall share we’re at about 2.5%,” he said.

“If we simply move that up towards our overall share, that’s a significant revenue opportunity for us as an organization and a significant business-building opportunity for the advisor,” Curtis added.

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