The president of Raymond James’ Independent Advisors Division offered an unequivocal “no” to the question of whether the group will introduce robo advice.
While some in the industry view this stance as a negative – perhaps even some of RJ’s wealth managers at the annual Wealth Managers Conference in Florida earlier this week – William Van Law was quick to explain what this actually means for its advisors.
“You're not going to read about Raymond James starting a robo-platform or some other business that competes with advisers,” Van Law told those in attendance. “It's assumed those firms [that are offering robo-platforms to consumers] are competing with their adviser business, but we don't do that. For us, it's about recognizing our core business, which is servicing financial advisers.”
That also applies Raymond James in Canada WP can now confirm.
“We strongly believe in the value-added human contact, advice and personal connection that is essential to building long term relationships based on trust and performance,” Peter Kahnert, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Marketing told WP in an email. “At Raymond James we always puts our advisors at the centre of their client relationships.”
While Van Law’s comments may increasingly be a contrarian one, advisors are likely to see it as supportive of the business model that has led to theirs and industry success.
Still, the Raymond James position, COO Dennis Zank said, doesn’t mean they won’t use every technological breakthrough to increase the value-add from its advisors. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.