Thomas James, the founder of Raymond James, has stepped away from his role as Chairman of the Board, continuing the firm's succession plan. James continues at the firm as the Chairman Emeritus, which includes a seat on the board.
Thomas James founded financial- and professional services firm Raymond James in 1962. In the intervening years the company has enjoyed substantial growth, today employing more than 6,800 financial services professionals across the globe. The firm recently announced that James is stepping down from his role as Chairman of the Board.
In 2010, following more than 40 years of service, James passed on the CEO baton to Paul Reilly, the former CEO of Korn Ferry. The most recent announcement reflects the continuation of the firm’s succession plans; which begun with the hire of Rilley and also involved expanding and developing the firm's additional management team. James remains involved with the firm as the Chairman Emeritus, and retains a seat on the board, while Chairman responsibilities are passed onto Reilly – allowing him to more fully take the helm.
James reflects on his decision to further transition the role of Chairman into the hands of Rilley, saying, “The timing is right for this transition for several reasons. First, as chairman, I worked with the board on the decision that it was time for Paul to hold both titles and oversee our board meetings with the support of our lead director, Susan Story. Furthermore, my wife Mary and I have become very involved in the work to establish the James Museum. I am looking forward to opening the museum in the coming year and spending more time with Mary and our family.”
Reilly remarks on his relationship with James, “Even well before my appointment as the firm’s CEO, Tom has been a thoughtful and generous mentor.” About his increasing responsibility for the firm’s future progress, he adds,“No one knows our business better than he does, but just as important, Tom has been a vigilant and tireless teacher for our associates, passing on the values and lessons critical to upholding the firm’s heritage. His commitment to cultivating a culture grounded in conservative and independent decision-making, and always putting the client first is what allowed Raymond James to survive times that caused larger firms in our business to fail. Beyond building a remarkable firm, he has given us a roadmap to ensure our continued success for many years to come.”