Raymond James buys Chicago brokerage

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (BestGrowthStock) – Raymond James Financial Inc (RJF.N: ) said on Wednesday it had agreed to buy a Chicago-based brokerage firm that will add $1.9 billion in assets to its wealth management business.

Terms of the deal to purchase Howe Barnes Hoefer & Arnett Inc were not disclosed, but Raymond James expects it to close by March 31, 2011.

As part of the buyout, Howe Barnes Chief Executive Dan Coughlin will join Raymond James as an investment banking managing director, and co-head the company’s financial institutions practice.

The announcement comes less than a month after Raymond James Chief Executive Paul Reilly said the St. Petersburg, Florida-based brokerage and investment bank had “half a dozen” potential deals “in the hopper.

The deal continues to expand Raymond James’ U.S. brokerage presence. The company currently has $254 billion in total client assets under management, with 5,300 financial advisers serving 1.9 million accounts.

(Reporting by Joe Rauch, editing by Maureen Bavdek)

Raymond James buys Chicago brokerage