Tom and Mary James (Photo: Steve Shawn)

The board of Raymond James Financial says Executive Chairman Thomas A. James is stepping down from his role as planned and that CEO Paul Reilly will take over the post of chairman.

After 50 years with the firm, James’ last day as executive chairman will be Feb. 16, when Raymond James hosts its annual shareholder meeting. He then will become chairman emeritus and keep a seat on the board.

“The Raymond James board of directors and I have been implementing a management succession process for many years,” James explained in a statement. “This has involved expanding and developing our management team, and began with Paul joining us as president in 2009 before becoming CEO in 2010.”

James’ father, Robert A. James, founded the firm in 1962 and merged it with Edward Raymond’s firm Raymond & Associates in 1964. Tom James joined the company in 1966, serving as its chairman and CEO for more than 40 years.

As chairman, James says, he has “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.”

Museum Move

In addition, the retired executive is working with his wife, Mary, to open the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art next year in St. Petersburg, Florida (where the company is based). “I am looking forward to opening the museum in the coming year and spending more time with Mary and our family,” he explained in a statement.

(For more on the museum opening, see Tom James: Master of the Art of Collecting.)

“As we make this transition, I intend to continue to be an active board member and shareholder while maintaining my Raymond James office to support Paul and our management team to help encourage the future success and continued independence of the firm,” James added.

Raymond James Financial said its net income rose 33% in the most-recent quarter to $171.7 million, or $1.19 per diluted share. Net revenues were close to $1.5 billion, a 9% jump over the year-ago period.

“The RJF board, our management team, and I are all very grateful to Tom for his thoughtful succession planning as well as the fact that he will continue to provide leadership and insights by remaining on the board,” Story said in a statement.

Raymond James has about 7,100 financial advisors with about $600 billion in client assets in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom. It recently purchased the boutique advisors of Deutsche Bank’s U.S. private client business, recently renamed Alex. Brown.

“Beyond building a remarkable firm, [Tom] has given us a roadmap to ensure our continued success for many years to come,” Reilly explained in a statement. “I have and will continue to be always grateful for the wisdom and guidance Tom has given me since I joined the RJF board ten years ago.”

— Check out 12 Best & Worst Broker-Dealers: Q3 Earnings, 2016 on ThinkAdvisor.