Raymond James Moves Staff, Ops Out of South Florida Ahead of Irma

CEO Paul Reilly says a chartered flight is departing for Memphis; some staff will go to facilities in other parts of the U.S.

Raymond James CEO Paul Reilly. Raymond James CEO Paul Reilly.

Raymond James said Friday that it has shifted critical business operations from its St. Petersburg, Florida, base to other facilities nationwide due to the threat of Hurricane Irma. Personnel are being moved to Memphis, Tennessee; Detroit and Denver, where the company has facilities.

“We have a charter flight for operations [staff] going to Memphis,” CEO Paul Reilly said on CNBC Friday afternoon as people across the state were being asked to evacuate certain areas.

“I am heading to New York. Management is all hooked up, including access to our database, in case there are issues.”

The executive, who said some 800 employees had been effected by Hurricane Harvey, told CNBC that the company's servers are in Denver with backup servers in Detroit.

“We can handle client volume — though people may have to work some extra hours,” he added.

On the charter flight for Memphis, staffers being “redeployed” will be joined by family members and pets. Hotel rooms also have been reserved for employees, if they are unable to evacuate.

“The cost of this is secondary,” Reilly said. “First and foremost is the safety of our associates and their families.”

This work is part of the firm’s disaster recovery and continuity planning.

“The good news, we have practiced this. The bad news is that we using it for the second time” over the past few weeks, the executive said. “We closed our offices early and assured folks they will be paid.”

As for his own home in the St. Petersburg area, Reilly said: “I live on the beach. I put down the shutters and will hope that it’s there when I come back.”

--- Check out Irma Forces NAIFA to Cancel Annual Conference on ThinkAdvisor.

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