December 1, 2021

Raymond James welcomes financial advisor group managing $670 million in assets in Greenville, South Carolina

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Raymond James recently welcomed financial advisors Benjamin Clauss, CFA®, Doug Ellison, CFP® and Brad LaRue to Raymond James & Associates (RJA) – the firm’s employee advisor channel – according to Tom Galvin, Southern division director for RJA.

The team operates as The Clauss & Ellison Group of Raymond James, which provides comprehensive wealth management services to an array of clients, from business owners to foundations. Based in Greenville, South Carolina, the group is joined by senior client relationship associates Cathy Logan and Amanda Wood. They previously managed $670 million in client assets as part of Merrill Lynch.

“Our entire team had well over 100 years of experience at Merrill Lynch, so the move to a new firm was not a decision that we made lightly,” said Clauss, senior vice president, investments. “Ultimately, we felt we needed to be at a more client-centric firm, with the right culture, tools and resources. We really like the multi-channel approach and flexibility at RJ, as well.”

Before joining Raymond James, Clauss worked at Merrill Lynch, where he applied his expertise to various leadership roles and served clients for 23 years. He holds a mechanical engineering degree from Clemson University and became a Chartered Financial Analyst® in 2006. Additionally, Clauss was named to the Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors List consecutively in 2020 and 2021.

“We wanted to be at a firm where the objective was to simply do what’s right for the client. It was a difficult decision, but one we felt we had to make. We feel great about our decision to align with Raymond James,” said Ellison, senior vice president, investments.

Ellison joins Raymond James with over 27 years of experience in financial services. He began his career as a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch in 1994, remaining there until this year. Ellison is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional and holds both a Bachelor of Science and an MBA from Clemson University.

LaRue got his start as a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch in 2018, serving clients there until his recent move to Raymond James. He holds a finance degree from Appalachian State University and previously held various entrepreneurial and sales roles across both multinational corporations and small startups.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ben, Doug and Brad to Raymond James. Together, we further strengthen our commitment to serving Greenville and its surrounding communities,” said Galvin.

About Raymond James & Associates
Raymond James & Associates, Inc., member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC, which has built a national reputation for more than 58 years as a leader in financial planning for individuals, corporations and municipalities, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Raymond James Financial, Inc. (NYSE-RJF), a leading diversified financial services company with approximately 8,500 financial advisors throughout the United States, Canada and overseas. Total client assets are $1.23 trillion. Additional information is available at

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM, CFP®, (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S. which it awards to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

Barron’s is a registered trademark of Dow Jones & Company, L.P. All rights reserved. The rankings are based on data provided by over 5,000 individual advisors and their firms and include qualitative and quantitative criteria. Factors included in the rankings: assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, regulatory record, quality of practice and philanthropic work. Investment performance is not an explicit component because not all advisors have audited results and because performance figures often are influenced more by clients’ risk tolerance than by an advisor’s investment picking abilities. The ranking may not be representative of any one client’s experience, is not an endorsement, and is not indicative of an advisor’s future performance. Neither Raymond James nor any of its financial advisors pay a fee in exchange for this award/rating. Barron’s is not affiliated with Raymond James.