LPL, Baird Stage Major Volunteer Projects

Raymond James plans large community-focused effort for August

An LPL employee volunteers at Junior Achievement’s BizTown in Charlotte. An LPL employee volunteers at Junior Achievement’s BizTown in Charlotte.

LPL Financial (LPLA) said Tuesday that about 340 of its employees supported projects across the country in May as part of its Serve Days initiative. The 23 projects focused on teaching financial literacy to students, helping women prepare for new careers, landscaping homes in low-income neighborhoods and providing nutritious meals to veterans.

Earlier this month, Baird announced that about 1,300 of its advisors and other associates gave time for volunteer projects in mid-May. And, as part of the firm’s 50th anniversary, Raymond James (RJF) says that it will expand its Raymond James Cares program.

"It was great to see LPL Financial volunteers giving back and working together to make an impact in our community,” said President & COO Robert Moore, who volunteered in San Diego, in a press release. “The camaraderie and spirit shared at the event was a reminder of how good it feels to come together to make a difference in the lives of others."

LPL also says that it began its Lift People Locally employee-volunteer program during April's National Volunteer Month in its home-office cities—San Diego, Boston, Cleveland and Charlotte, N.C. In addition, the firm recently launched an Employee Volunteer Center web portal so that employees can sign up for volunteer projects online.

Along with some other firms in the broker-dealer field, LPL Financial has a Volunteer Time Off program, which provides paid time off for employees who volunteer for charitable organizations in their local communities.

The company’s 2,700 employees can participate in the LPL Financial Charitable Foundation, while the 12,900 advisors affiliated with LPL Financial can join the efforts of Invest in Others, a separate charitable group that encourages advisors to give back to their local communities.

Baird Gives Back

Milwaukee-based Baird, which is privately owned and has about 2,700 advisors and staff members, says that its advisors and their family members donated 3,700 hours in mid-May to help some 100 nonprofit organizations during Baird Gives Back Week. Launched three years ago, this effort now includes advisors and others in nearly 50 Baird offices, both in the United States and overseas.

In May, associates helped with projects such as preparing and serving food, tutoring and mentoring students, working with seniors, building homes, cleaning up parks, performing indoor/outdoor maintenance, and assisting with event coordination. Associates received two paid days off to perform volunteer service through the Baird Cares program.

“When our communities do well, we do well, both as a business and as individuals seeking balance in our work and personal lives,” said Baird Chairman, President & CEO Paul E. Purcell, in a statement.

“It is very inspiring that so many of our associates across the firm chose to participate in Baird Gives Back Week, an annual event that celebrates our firm’s longstanding tradition of giving back to the communities in which we live and work, as well as our associates who are passionate about making a difference,” Purcell explained.

Raymond James’ Plans

Gearing up for its golden anniversary, Raymond James is encouraging advisors and staff members to participate in community-service activities during the month of August. It is making T-shirts, hats, water bottles and other materials available for these efforts.

A pilot version of Raymond James Cares was created in May 2011 through the leadership of Raymond James & Associates Private Client Group President Tash Elwyn, then-head of the Atlantic division of RJ&A. Close to 300 advisors and volunteers from more than 15 offices contributed 1,000 hours to their respective communities.

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