Advisor ditches US firm only to return

Advisor ditches US firm only to return

Advisor ditches US firm only to return Two weeks ago, Raymond James welcomed back Richard Kluska and the entire team from IP Strategies after a five-year absence. The Ottawa-based advisor left Raymond James on good terms in 2009 to join Canaccord Genuity; now he’s decided to go home and clients couldn’t be happier.

“I was with Raymond James for about five years, always on the independent side. There was one executive at Raymond James who was always fair to me and got me into Raymond James,” says Kluska. “He suggested there was a great opportunity at Canaccord to join back into a Canadian firm.”

Kluska is quick to point out this was immediately following the financial crisis in 2009 and nobody knew where the U.S. was going. Thus, it made sense to join a Canadian firm that was coming on like gangbusters.

“An opportunity was presented by an executive [at Canaccord] who said, ‘Look, here’s a Canadian firm that wants your kind of advisory of wealth management; why don’t you come on and join with me and make this really a happening thing?’”

Kluska decided to grab the opportunity, and left Raymond James on good terms.

So, several years later, why the change of heart?

“At the end of five years we always do a review. We started talking to our friends in the bank channel and the independent channel and sent an RFP out to just about everybody,” says Kluska. “We came to the conclusion that our business had matured and Raymond James’ business had become better ingrained in the wealth management industry in Canada.”

Perhaps the most compelling reason for Kluska to return to Raymond James is the independence their advisors are provided to run their operations as they see fit. WP has talked to many Raymond James advisors from across the country and one thing is apparent: they truly operate their own businesses.

“We left on good terms. It was just we thought there were better opportunities,” says Kluska. “We reflected on it and said, ‘You know what, we know the company. Let’s go back home.”