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July 21, 2020

Raymond James continues its focus on sustainable investing, enhances suite of capabilities

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Raymond James is continuing to enhance its sustainable investing resources and capabilities as the firm experiences growing interest from advisors and clients, according to Kim Jenson, COO of Raymond James’ Private Client Group and executive sponsor of the firm’s sustainable investing initiatives.

“Our research continues to reinforce growing interest in sustainable investing, particularly among higher-net-worth clients, women, and millennials, and in key geographies where Raymond James has a strategic focus,” said Jenson. “As client preferences around sustainable investing continue to evolve, we’re advancing our ongoing effort to offer choice to advisors and clients while helping to build stronger, healthier communities. We’re excited to continue broadening the firm’s capabilities in this important space.” 

The firm’s approach to sustainable investing is collaborative in nature across all business segments and heavily influenced by advisor feedback. Raymond James’ Sustainable Investing Advisory Council, chaired by Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Samantha Trebesch, was established in January 2018 and is comprised of 15 advisors across the firm’s affiliation models and home office leadership. The council meets regularly to review and expand the set of capabilities available to approximately 8,100 Raymond James advisors. The firm is focused on offering investing strategies flexible enough to be tailored to each client, incorporating quality due diligence, and maintaining exceptional service for advisors and their clients. 

Over the past year, Raymond James has enhanced its growing suite of sustainable investing capabilities through adding in-house environmental, social and governance (ESG) research and incorporating ESG ratings into advisors’ desktop views.

Citing increased importance to clients and following ESG due diligence training earlier this year, the firm’s Equity Research analysts have begun incorporating fundamentally important and financially material ESG factors into company analyses. This has become a differentiator and value add for clients, particularly those focusing on small to mid-cap equities, a core equity research strength for Raymond James.

“For our practice built on individual ESG equities, Raymond James analysts’ commentary and research articles have been the backbone of our process, not only in helping us make decisions, but also for providing in-depth knowledge to aid the growth of our business,” said Erin Marken, an advisor who cited Raymond James’ sustainable investing capabilities as a factor in her joining the firm in 2019. “To an ESG investor, sustainable investing goes beyond the portfolio. Being able to see individual stock positions provides an emotional connection to clients via the stories we are able to share.”

In addition, the firm leverages its relationship with Morningstar to seamlessly incorporate ESG ratings into advisors’ desktop views within Product Catalog, the firm’s in-house technology application built to provide advisors the ability to easily search, screen, compare and review investment product attributes. Advisors can filter and compare more than 1,400 funds by Morningstar Sustainability Ratings.  

Raymond James advisors have access to a variety of sustainable investing vehicles and resources to fit their clients’ needs, such as individual equities and bonds, funds, green bonds, unit investment trusts, and alternative investments as available. A sampling of these resources include:

  • Model ESG portfolios. Raymond James Asset Management Services offers Freedom ESG portfolios appealing across a spectrum of risk tolerances (Conservative Balanced, Balanced, Balanced with Growth, and Growth Equity). The $5,000 minimum ensures clients at all stages of wealth accumulation have the opportunity to invest in their financial future in a sustainable way.
  • Separately managed accounts (SMAs). Raymond James Consulting Services provides clients with higher-net-worth access to multiple strategies run by nationally known and boutique money management firms integrating ESG factors into their selection processes.
  • Carillon Tower Advisers’ (CTA) portfolio manager expertise and strategies. CTA, a subsidiary of Raymond James Financial, is a signatory of the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) and member of US SIF, with a demonstrated commitment to incorporate ESG data into the investment selection process. CTA’s Eagle Asset Management recently launched two new ESG strategies; one covering corporate and municipal fixed income, and the other comprised of small-cap and mid-cap equities. 
  • Raymond James Charitable solutions. Available for clients’ donor advised fund accounts, Liberty ESG portfolios through Raymond James Trust allow clients to align their values to investments earmarked for charitable giving.
  • Educational and marketing resources. A wide range of client-facing sustainable investing resources have been published for advisors to leverage, including brochures, magazine articles, infographics, presentations, videos, social media content, and expert commentary on raymondjames.com/poweringforward.

“Raymond James has thoughtfully put together valuable material to easily help us invest in a more conscientious manner,” said Aaron Brachman, CFP®, AAMS®, AIF®. “Increasingly, our clients care about the impact that their investments have on the world around them. It is terrific to partner with a firm like Raymond James that understands this and continually works with us to give us the tools we need to meet this demand.”

About Raymond James Financial, Inc.
Raymond James Financial, Inc. (NYSE: RJF), is a leading diversified financial services company providing private client group, capital markets, asset management, banking and other services to individuals, corporations and municipalities. The company has approximately 8,100 financial advisors. Total client assets are $858 billion. Public since 1983, the firm is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RJF. Additional information is available at raymondjames.com.