$520 million Morgan Stanley team goes independent with Raymond James

Raymond James lured away a $520 million team from Morgan Stanley in New Jersey, giving the broker-dealer another practice in the Northeast as it continues to seek an expanded footprint in the region.

IronRidge Wealth Management, a three-advisor practice in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, left the wirehouse in April, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. They joined Raymond James’ independent broker-dealer.

The team was drawn to Raymond James for its culture, support and technology offerings, advisor Giovanni Duran said in a statement. With their new independent practice, they’re excited to “operate as true business owners,” he said.

Duran had been with Morgan Stanley and predecessor firm Smith Barney since 2002, according to FINRA BrokerCheck records. His teammate Joseph Cataldo joined Smith Barney in 1997, staying with the firm following its merger with Morgan Stanley in 2008. Advisor Nick Penna started his career at the wirehouse in 2011.

A spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley declined to comment on the move.

Raymond James has been an aggressive recruiter in recent years. The St. Petersburg, Florida-based firm increased its brokerage ranks by 3% year-over-year to reach 7,862 advisors across its independent and employee channels for the first quarter of 2019, according to its most recent earnings report.

The IronRidge advisors were “were thorough in their due diligence, knowing how they wanted to enhance, grow and move their practice forward, so we are very pleased they chose to partner with us in this important Northeast market,” Shannon Reid, Northeast regional director for Raymond James’ Independent Contractor Division, said in a statement.

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