Investment

How Raymond James plans to invest $500M in tech this year • St Pete Catalyst

St. Petersburg-based Raymond James Financial, one of the largest local employers, is pumping an additional $100 million into investing in the latest technologies.

“The firm has increased its spending on technology from $400 million annually pre-pandemic to $500 million in the 2022 fiscal year,” a Raymond James spokesperson said. 

The news was initially announced by Raymond James CEO Paul Reilly earlier this month during the Elevate National Conference in Nashville. He said the investment would be used toward enhancing cybersecurity and Raymond James’ applications. 

Technology has long been at the forefront of Raymond James’ priorities. The primary investment has been on improving the communication between advisors and clients and protecting a client’s assets.  

The firm recently named a new chief information security officer, Todd Ferguson. He focuses on “securing the firm’s enterprise technology platform and continually improving its technology risk posture, while maintaining alignment and transparency with Raymond James’ enterprise risk framework” as well as “further enhancement of our defense-in-depth security strategy.”

In terms of enhancements to applications, the Raymond James team said its client access mobile app is continuously being updated to facilitate interactions between advisors and their clients, such as adding a video communication feature.

“Unlike some competitor apps, it connects clients to their advisor rather than directly to their bank. By having clients and advisors view the same information, the app aims to make conversations about financial goals more efficient and clear,” a spokesperson said. 

A look at the recently announced technologies Raymond James has invested in:

  • A practice exchange succession planning platform: This cloud-based tool powered by FindBob is designed to be the one-stop source on the succession planning process for advisors.  The platform has merger and acquisition tools, prospective buyer/seller matching and succession planning education. 
  • An alerts portal: This portal consolidates department and practices notifications into one dashboard.
  • Proposal tool for financial advisors: The tool provides investment data analysis, a prospect’s referrals or portfolio and proposed investment changes. It can search, screen and compare financial product attributes. It also monitors and compares portfolio performance over time.
  • Enhancements to its digital marketing capabilities.

Today, the company has approximately 8,500 financial advisors and $1.26 trillion in total client assets, according to its website. 

The latest quarterly earnings report shows Raymond James had net revenues of $2.67 billion and net income of $323 million, or $1.52 per diluted share, for the fiscal second quarter that ended March 31.  Excluding $11 million of acquisition-related expenses, quarterly adjusted net income was $331 million. 


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