Investment Banking, Public Finance, Institutional Sales and Trading, and Syndicate serve corporate, institutional nonprofit and municipal clients throughout North America and Europe. The group also provides research on companies globally, market-making in common stocks, and trading primarily in municipal, government agency, mortgage-backed and corporate bonds. In addition, Raymond James Tax Credit Funds provides resources to developers of affordable housing and sponsors impactful investments in communities through fund offerings.
Equity Capital Markets had a record year in fiscal 2017, with net revenues growing 20% compared to fiscal 2016. Record revenues were driven primarily by strong M&A advisory performance in Investment Banking as advisory revenue of $228 million increased more than 50% over the prior year.
The first full-year contribution of our European advisory business following the acquisition of Mummert & Co. in June 2016 was a contributor to this success, as the team completed 16 transactions, including several successful cross-border collaborations with our U.S. teams. We expanded our footprint from our base in Munich, Germany, to Frankfurt and London, adding seven managing directors covering Technology, Industrials, Health Care, Consumer and Financial Sponsors.
Jeffrey E. Trocin, President, Global Equities and Investment Banking, Raymond James & Associates
Our North American results were driven by very strong performance from our Technology & Services practice, which completed 42 advisory transactions across the software, FinTech, IT Services and Systems & Components sectors, including the largest-ever transaction advised by Raymond James: the $15.4 billion sale of Mobileye – a company that develops and markets technology deployed in autonomous driving vehicles – to Intel.
The year also saw the recent investments we’ve made in our Consumer, Health Care, Energy, Financial Services, and Security, Defense & Government Services investment banking practices pay off with strong results from each of those teams, including a record year for the Consumer Investment Banking group.
Our Canadian advisory efforts also produced strong results, including advising Integra Gold Corporation on its sale to Eldorado Gold Corporation. Our North American advisory teams collaborated on five U.S./Canadian cross-border engagements in 2017, including serving as advisor to TIO Networks Corporation on its sale to PayPal Holdings.
Globally, we advised on 79 M&A deals, each with fees over $1 million, compared to 62 such transactions in 2016.
We also continued to recruit talent into our North American investment banking teams, adding managing directors across several industry and specialty sectors. This included the addition of an activism response and contested situations team to our M&A practice, which was recognized by Thomson Reuters as the #2-ranked advisor for activism defense in the first half of calendar 2017.
Our underwriting business also demonstrated excellent results in 2017, with revenues up 34% from the prior year, driven by strength in our Real Estate, Financial Services, Consumer, and Energy practices. In total, 25 transactions generated fees to Raymond James in excess of $1 million.
We continue to manage through challenging conditions in our equities trading business as low volatility, funds flows toward passive investment management strategies, fee compression and the pending MiFID II regulations in Europe led to declines in institutional equity sales. While securities commissions and fee revenues declined 2% from fiscal 2016, we believe these influences are less impactful to Raymond James than the declines being experienced by our competitors.
We remain committed to providing market-leading equity research, with 74 research analysts covering almost 1,300 companies globally, but have moderated our research costs in response to industry challenges, and have added new business lines such as event-driven trading that have helped to offset some of the secular declines in the industry. The quality of Raymond James’ research continues to have an excellent reputation – Greenwich’s survey of North American Equity Investors in 2017 ranked Raymond James #1 with small/mid-cap managers in overall sector research citations, corporate access importance, sales capability, and top five relationships. Our Canadian Research placed in the top seven in the latest Brendan Wood International Survey, and two of our European analysts were named as top-three stock pickers in Europe in their respective sectors by Thomson Reuters.
Our synergistic relationship with the Private Client Group remains an important strategic advantage. Private Client Group segment securities commissions and fees associated with our underwriting activities were up over 50% in 2017. In addition, we closed several transactions that were originated through our Private Client Group financial advisor relationships. A robust dialogue between our investment bankers and financial advisors regarding financing and M&A opportunities for their clients who own and manage meaningful businesses bodes well for the future.
Finally, as we begin fiscal 2018, we do so with expanded leadership, as head of Investment Banking Jim Bunn joins Jeff Trocin as co-president of Equity Capital Markets. As we look ahead, we believe this planned succession reinforces our long-term focus, and will help ensure our investments in our businesses and people have positioned us well for continued success.
The fiscal year saw continued challenges for Fixed Income, as the persistence of low interest rates, the reintroduction of monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve, and uncertainty regarding tax and regulatory policy resulted in lower customer activity for our Fixed Income Capital Markets (FICM) sales team and, in turn, lower commissions.
However, the strong client relationships held by that team, as well as those maintained by our Public Finance bankers, resulted in solid financial results for the unit overall.
John C. Carson Jr., President, Raymond James Financial, Fixed Income
In FICM, the counsel we provide to the clients we serve has never been more valuable, as they confront an increasingly complex future. Our client-centered operating model continued to prove that value in 2017, with Raymond James outperforming industry peers on total fixed income sales and trading revenues while delivering on strategic initiatives, including expanding our product lineup and enhancing our consultative capabilities to key customer segments.
For example, our Depositories franchise, which makes up a substantial portion of our overall relationships, was impacted by both the uncertainty in the regulatory environment as well as the resurgence of consolidation in the bank industry. While trading activity was down overall, we were able to continue to deepen relationships through our portfolio accounting and asset/liability consulting services, resulting in growth of this business overall.
Additionally, we continued to make critical investments to fortify Raymond James’ competitive position, including taking advantage of cyclical and secular forces to recruit talented associates. Among this year’s hires were additions to our Non-Agency Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities team on the Structured Products desk, our Debt Origination & Syndication operation, and the broader fixed income sales force, with an eye to building on already strong portions of our FICM business for the future.
In Public Finance, fiscal 2017 was another very good year, with revenues just slightly below the record levels achieved in 2016, despite a downturn in new municipal issues due to fewer refunding issues nationally. Consistent with previous years, Raymond James finished the fiscal year ranked as a Top 10 municipal underwriter of negotiated new issues.
Banking activity for the fiscal year included serving as placement agent or book running senior manager for 414 negotiated new issues with a total par value of over $13 billion. In addition, our team of Public Finance bankers originated 285 co-managed issues representing a total par value of over $62 billion. Included among our senior managed issues were two New York City Municipal Water Authority issues totaling $800 million in aggregate par value.
Among the positive momentum leading to these results was market share growth in several core geographic areas. For example, as Raymond James continues to expand our presence westward, the addition of two senior bankers to our California team in fiscal 2016 is paying off: Since their hiring, we have increased our market share in the state by 17%.
Our Texas bankers also delivered continued outstanding performance, ranking as the top underwriter of lead managed negotiated new issues this year, as well as the top underwriter of Texas school bonds for the seventh consecutive year.
We also attracted high-quality bankers to the team in 2017, including a Chicago-based senior banker to lead our Midwest practice. These additions, along with ongoing collaboration between our generalists and our specialty banking groups, resulted in increased revenues in fiscal 2017 and bode well for future performance.
Finally, in the culmination of a succession plan, Gavin Murrey, a 19-year veteran of the firm who had served as co-head of Public Finance since March 2016, became sole head of the division as long-time leader Rob Baird stepped down at the end of fiscal 2017. We are fortunate that Rob remains with the firm to continue to provide a smooth management transition and help strengthen our position for 2018 and beyond.
Looking forward, we remain clear-eyed about the continuing challenges – and accompanying opportunities – for our Fixed Income business overall. Fortunately, Raymond James is uniquely positioned to outperform the broader industry: Unlike our larger competitors, we did not need to radically alter our business model to conform to post-crisis regulations, and unlike our downstream competitors, we have sufficient scale and diversification to withstand the challenges underfoot.
Armed with deep client relationships, extensive expertise and a strong platform of support, our associates are well-positioned to continue to earn the loyalty our clients have entrusted to Raymond James, both in the year ahead and well into the future.
Built by Bonds: The Marvel of New York City's Water and Sewer Systems
Since 2009, Raymond James has served as senior manager to the New York City Municipal Finance Water Authority, underwriting municipal bonds that provide the infrastructure investment for New York City’s massive water and sewer systems.
The New York City Municipal Finance Water Authority (New York Water or the Authority) finances the capital needs of the water and sewer systems of the city of New York. The systems are owned by the city and operated by the city’s Department of Environmental Protection. The Authority is one of the largest issuers of municipal debt with $30.8 billion of outstanding bonds, all of which are repaid from water and sewer revenues. The Authority’s bonds, most of which are rated Aa1/AA+/AA+*, finance most of the capital expenditures for the systems, which are projected to total more than $13.4 billion over the next five years.
Access to the capital markets is vital to the functioning of the city of New York’s complex water and sewer systems, which serve the city’s 8.5 million residents. Bond proceeds fund capital projects that benefit people and the environment through drinking water protection, water conservation, climate resiliency, pollution reduction, water quality improvements and green infrastructure management.
Raymond James has served as senior manager for more than $68 billion of municipal bonds throughout the country over the past five years, ranking the firm as one of the largest underwriters of municipal debt. In fiscal year 2017, the firm was the senior managing underwriter on two issues of long-term, fixed-rate water and sewer revenue bonds for New York Water with a total par amount of nearly $800 million.
Raymond James has been a senior manager for the Authority since 2009. The firm’s lead relationship banker for the Authority, Kemp Lewis, senior managing director of public finance, has worked with the Authority for over 25 years.
Kemp believes his team’s institutional knowledge and experiences have contributed to the successful relationship with the Authority. “Having a long-term banking relationship creates a continuity of insight that’s beneficial for the client. In the end, it’s not about me or Raymond James. It’s about the client,” Kemp said.
Olga Chernat, CFA, is the executive director of the New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority. When asked about the recent transactions, she said, “Kemp and his team know our needs. They do a very good job in structuring, pricing and placing our bonds. Overall, selecting Raymond James as one of three senior managers for the Authority speaks volumes for the trust we have in this long-term partnership.”
As we plan for the future, the stage has already been set for the next generation of leaders to emerge. With transitions supported at every step, there is mutual respect and appreciation for the experience of and, in many cases, the continued contributions of predecessors.
Tom James exemplifies Raymond James’ thoughtful model of the firm’s evolution of leadership. First, as he learned the business from his father, Bob James, succeeding him as CEO to lead the company in 1970. Then again in 2010, when Chairman and CEO Paul Reilly was named CEO, working alongside Tom for a year before the transition became official. This year, the firm’s conservative succession style was further demonstrated by two leadership shifts in the Equity Capital Markets and Public Finance divisions.
Jim Bunn, left, and Gavin Murrey
A highly regarded banker and leader with nearly 20 years of experience, Jim Bunn grew into his leadership opportunities and current role as co-president of Equity Capital Markets and head of Investment Banking. Jim led the Financial Technology and Technology Services practices at Lane Berry, a leading middle market advisory firm acquired by Raymond James in 2009. Upon joining Raymond James, he became co-head of the firm’s Technology Services Investment Banking group prior to leading the entire Investment Banking division.
Beneficial for both Jim and the firm, he has been serving alongside Co-President of Equity Capital Markets Jeff Trocin since October 2017, joining Jeff on the firm’s Executive Committee and reporting directly to Chairman and CEO Paul Reilly. “We make collaborative decisions as I gain insight from leaders, analysts and sales traders in all of the businesses, and absorb Jeff’s historical perspective before fully taking the reins,” Jim said.
Similarly, the Public Finance division’s new leadership isn’t new at all. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Executive Vice President Gavin Murrey joined Raymond James as part of the Morgan Keegan acquisition in 2012. Since 1998, Gavin has been influential as a senior banker and manager in growing the firm’s public finance practice into one of the leading platforms in the nation with 180 banking professionals in 26 locations nationwide.
Appointed co-head of Public Finance in March 2016, Gavin shared title and leadership responsibilities with Rob Baird for a little more than a year and a half. Effective this past October, Rob stepped down as executive vice president and co-head of Public Finance/Debt Investment Banking to be an active senior managing director of the Public Finance Division.
Jim and Gavin have faith in the positive momentum of their areas and emphasize proactively caring for clients and fostering relationships. Gavin summarized, “As teams, divisions and a firm, we want to grow the right way. That means getting the right people who share our client-first mentality in the right places. If you help solve your clients’ problems and are there for them, the rest will follow.”