Raymond James Financial Inc. announced an initiative that would require the restructuring of variable annuities offered through financial advisors at the firm's broker/dealer subsidiaries, Raymond James Financial Services and Raymond James & Associates.
President and chief operating officer Chet Helck said that beginning in August, Raymond James will require all approved annuity providers to offer an alternative pricing structure that reduces client costs without impacting standard or optional benefits. The changes are designed to lower policy fees, create consistent commissions and reduce opportunities for confusion by simplifying offerings.
"Once our requirements are met, Raymond James financial advisors will be able to recommend the same annuity features and benefits from leading insurance companies as those offered by competitors -- simply at a lower cost to the client," Helck said in a statement.As part of the move, Raymond James will no longer offer variable annuities through the firm's nearly 5,000 financial advisors from carriers that do not meet the new requirements. The firm said that it expects most of its providers to meet the summer deadline.
While the firm anticipates a short-term impact to revenue, it expects the shift to yield longer-term benefits in the form of elevated retention and additional client assets.
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