Raymond James Taking The Fall For Not-So-Bright Employees

Raymond James has decided to take a loss rather than admit to employing idiots.
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Not quite.

It seems that a number of Raymond James financial advisers aren’t entirely clear on which mutual fund share classes investors should be steered towards, and how much they should pay for them. Which is bad, because that’s pretty much the whole reason one goes to—and pays—a financial adviser. Or, in this case, pays a financial adviser too much, because said financial adviser put your retirement-account funds into the wrong fund, or forgot to waive the sales load, which proved good for them in terms of how much money they made but obviously bad for you.

And bad for Raymond James: The advisers clearly screwed up. But to admit that they screwed up and make them pay for it might make them look incompetent, which might make a client say, “If these guys don’t know what they’re talking about, maybe the guys at Merrill Lynch do.” And even if Merrill Lynch is a bad example in this particular case, you get the idea. So Raymond James has decided to pretend that things are really more complicated than they are, and to eat the loss.

"Given the complexities of the subject – including policy variations among fund companies, lack of clarity in prospectuses, and a gap in the industry’s and Raymond James’ abilities to systematically identify waiver availability, we felt this would be the best way to limit distraction for advisors and minimize confusion for clients," the spokesperson said. "In addition, our decision should serve to eliminate any concerns that the chargebacks may have implied negligent or deliberate actions by advisors. As always, we are confident our advisors are working in the best interests of their clients…."

As of Thursday, the firm was planning to send letters to clients on March 23 explaining the situation and mail rebate checks by April 13, according to advisors familiar with the matter. "It needs to come off as an appropriate gesture, without making it look like the advisor screwed up," the advisor said of the upcoming communications with clients.

Raymond James Backtracks on Clawbacks [WealthManagement.com]

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James Gorman Is Not Amused

What the hell is wrong with you people?

UBS Concerned With The Company Some Of Its Employees Keep

The following is a (not at all comprehensive) list of things that UBS could legitimately be embarrassed about: - Losing so much money that a rogue trader's $2billion loss barely registered above 'meh' on the Do We Care scale - Awarding 4-figure bonuses to managing directors - Employing a guy who "implored bankers to make a more concerted effort to streamline the firm and likened the strategy to slashing expenses like a 'Jewish shopkeeper'" - Having their entire healthcare team decide Jeffereies is a better place to work - Being scammed by a bunch of ops guys - Pulling a reverse Field of Dreams and spending all the money it didn't have to build a 103,000-square-foot trading floor, in a 700,000-square-foot building, that no one wants to work on - Getting no respect from the people of Stamford, who'd prefer "a nice big Costco" move into the space - Having to distribute a step-by-step guide re: how to tie a tie And yet, rather than feel some measure of humiliation about, for instance, the PowerPoint admission that their grown men employees don't know how to dress themselves or taking the time to send out a memo that reads "Subject: Hey, Body: Stop losing so much fucking money!", the bank's execs are going with this: ...Robert Wolf, a top UBS executive in New York, is among President Obama’s leading fund-raisers, building more than $500,000 for his re-election so far this year. A regular presence at big campaign fund-raisers, Mr. Wolf, who is 50, golfs and vacations with Mr. Obama and is known for e-mailing friends photos of himself with the president. While such a close relationship might have been envied by other bankers in 2008, when much of Wall Street was infatuated with Mr. Obama and donated heavily to his presidential bid, it has been making other UBS executives uneasy of late...With media reports pointing out that one of the bank’s top executives is also one of the Obama campaign’s top bundlers — a word that one UBS executive said “makes people’s hair stand on end” inside the bank — the Swiss banking giant has decided to take an unusual step. The bank’s powerful group executive board in Zurich recently presented Mr. Wolf with an edict directing him to report all his media inquiries to the firm’s press office. Since then, most of the requests to speak to Mr. Wolf have been rejected, according to people briefed on the situation, resulting in a much dimmer limelight for Mr. Wolf...“You will clear any and all communications with the press as far in advance as possible,” the directive to Mr. Wolf read. “With respect to activities outside UBS you will, on a best-efforts basis, keep corporate communications informed.” Bosses Reign In Banker Who Golfs With Obama [Dealbook]

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Maybe Gary Cohn Is Just Not Bright

You're tearing us apart, Gary!