For the first time in its 45-year history, there will be no “Mr. James” in the CEO’s office of Raymond James Financial. At least that is the intended outcome of the recent announcement that Paul Reilly–a member of the Raymond James board but otherwise an outsider–will become president of the diversified holding company based in St. Petersburg, Fla. on May 1, and will succeed CEO Thomas A. James a year later.
James, 66, joined the company–started in 1964 by his father, Robert A. James–after earning degrees from Harvard University and in 1966, the Harvard Business School. In 1970, at the age of 27, he became CEO. He will remain active as full-time executive chairman of the board.
Reilly, who was raised in St. Petersburg, is currently executive chairman of Korn/Ferry International. He joined the company–a global provider of talent management solutions–as chairman and CEO in 2001. His previous positions were with KPMG International, where he ran the firm’s financial services business before being named CEO. A CPA who earned a BA and MBA from the University of Notre Dame, Reilly joined Raymond James Financials’ board of directors in 2005, and for the past year has served as chairman of the audit committee.
“Because he grew up in St. Petersburg, I have known Paul and his family since he was a young tennis player,” Thomas James said in the company’s official announcement. “Since then, he has demonstrated success in academia and international business, as well as, in recent years, as a public company CEO.”