Chicago planning firm Financial Strategy Network says it was a tough decision, but Raymond James' advisory approach just wasn't the right fit for their business.
The firm ended 12 years of affiliation with Raymond James recently to convert into an independent RIA using Pershing as its custodian.
They still like their old broker-dealer, but note that the business model over there still seems more geared toward an individual production philosophy than the all-inclusive approach they've taken.
A full 95% of their business is now fee-based anyway, so they wanted better block trade pricing for their clients, 99% of whom have followed them into their new firm structure.
At the end of the day, not much will change, the principals say. In their opinion, it's a lot harder to leave the wirehouse than it is to pull away from an independent broker-dealer relationship.