Scratch a potential buyer off the list of independent brokerage firms that might emerge to pick up Securities America or another of the companies currently on the block.
Raymond James Financial Services, the independent-broker-oriented arm of Raymond James, is less interested in buying another network than growing organically, COO Chet Helk recently told reporters.
Once again, the whiff of "distress" is a turnoff for the firm. Raymond James would rather court high-quality producers individually without betting real capital on "expensive and risky" acquisitions, Helk says.
This is a stunning story because it demonstrates how much value there is at the strong end of the advisory business -- the individuals RJFS is pursuing -- and how commoditized weaker books have become.
If a national player like Raymond James is unlikely to want to bolt a big network onto its own operation through M&A, the prospects for weaker producers to sell their own books at a fair price just got slimmer.
And for firms like Securities America, I guess we can scratch another rumored potential buyer off the list.