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Robert Trigaux

Tampa's John Sykes picks off weaker competition in quest to build his JHS Capital brokerage




Tampa entrepreneur and philanthropist John Sykes in front of a Gulfstream jet at his JHS hangar in Tampa. Photo: Stephen J. Coddington, Tampa Bay Times

Wake up and good morning. Wealthy entrepreneur John Sykes' radar appears to be working well as he continues his latest corporate-building exercise in growing his young JHS Capital Advisors into a bigger financial brokerage. Sykes, you may recall, leveraged his wealth in creating Tampa call center business Sykes Enterprises (now run by son Chuck) and bought control of Tampa brokerage GunnAllen Financial. When regulatory problems emerged from GunnAllen's past, Sykes broke off his ties to the firm and created his own brokerage -- JHS Capital -- essentially from scratch.

That's why the recent deal by Sykes and JHS to buy the retail brokerage business from of Oregon-based Paulson Investment Co. is a big gulp. JHS Capital had a fledgling national network of 100 advisers handling $2 billion in assets. Adding Paulson's 75 advisers and their $1.1 billion is a 50 percent bump in assets and 75 percent gain in advisers. Read the JHS press release.

Sykes apparently can recognize a good deal. Paulson Investment Co. has lost big bucks for four years in a row. The sale of its retail brokerage and 75 advisers to JHS will leave Paulson with all of ten employees.

"It was really a decision where we were losing a significant amount of money since the (financial) crash," Trent Davis, Paulson CEO, of the sale to JHS, told the Oregonian newspaper. Read more here.

In this April 2010 Venture posting on Sykes, his JHS had 130 advisers.

Look for Sykes to use this strategy -- picking off the weak competition -- often as JHS grows.

-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times

[Last modified: Monday, March 5, 2012 7:58am]


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