Case Study: Independent Contractor

Susie Bewell and Faye Silver

Raymond James, Hitchin

Susie Bewell and Faye Silver

  • Susie Bewell and Faye Silver are the co-branch principals of Raymond James, Hitchin.
  • Susie joined Raymond James with her father Robert Bewell in 2002. Faye joined not long after in 2004 and since Robert’s retirement in 2016 they have run their female led, locally focused business together.
  • Working as Independent Contractors with Raymond James, they are one of the few wealth management practices in their area that manage on a discretionary basis and pride themselves on knowing their clients to ensure that they do not manage on a “one-size-fits-all” basis.

Why we work with Raymond James

Raymond James provides the opportunity to run an independent business as part of a larger firm. We were particularly pleased to see that Raymond James is open platform, allowing us to facilitate the investments suitable for our clients, which is a big plus. We also liked the fact that the infrastructure of the back office and support for compliance and legal saves us time from unnecessary admin.

What we get from our partnership with Raymond James

We really value having a dedicated Relationship Manager and Compliance Supervision Manager. We have excellent relationships with them both and they are both really quick in responding to any questions that we have. Having a direct link to the various head office operations teams also means we can get any questions answered quickly and save us time. There are many long-standing members of staff who have been with Raymond James as long as we have. It’s been great to have those personal connections, and to see their development over the years, and the fact that many have been with the firm for so long speaks volumes about the business.

Raymond James provides us with the ability to plug into their systems, to have a built-in “back office” and the ongoing support of compliance, marketing and finance. We don’t have to focus on operations which means we can dedicate all of our attention to client relationships and delivering the services and results for them. Our client survey results reflect the success of this!

The annual Raymond James Professional Development Forum and quarterly strategist lunches help us broaden our market understanding, helping with management for clients. We have the opportunity to network with the other branches which is always good, and these events enable us to further develop relationships with the staff at head office. It is also good for our team to see the bigger picture and to help with their personal development.

Transferring clients and facing significant paperwork was a concern – but Raymond James produced a system to make this easy! Once we got to know more about the history of the US parent company Raymond James Financial and their conservatism and stability, this reassured us that the business we were joining would be here for the long term.

Any issues or questions we have are resolved with open discussions. Raymond James is willing to talk to us and listen to our concerns. It is of great benefit to us that Raymond James recognises our specific needs – as a “regional” office these are often different to offices in London. Raymond James has continued to build on the support offered, through the Relationship Management team and now the Practice Intelligence initiative.

In Summary

We first joined Raymond James in the middle of a market crash in 2002, so the stability of Raymond James as a business was important in our early days. We have grown with Raymond James in the UK and this has given us strong foundations. The retirement of Robert in 2016 has meant that the business has evolved and we can drive forwards and we have grown our assets substantially since. In two years they have increased by 75%. We are a progressive, forward-looking and family orientated business and we prioritise developing organically, which means we can maintain excellent service and support levels for clients. Building from within also means we can effectively include succession planning. It is important to us that we give back and are a positive presence in our community. For us, it’s not just about making money, it is important to build a business we are proud of.