Renée Baker

Raymond James says its has tapped Renée Baker to lead its diversity and inclusion efforts. Baker, now the chief marketing officer of subsidiary Carillon Tower Advisers, will manage the Network for Women Advisors, Advisor Pride Network and Black Financial Advisors Network starting Sept. 1.

“We have experienced considerable growth and increasing interest in our Advisor Inclusion Networks. Centralizing leadership and resources supporting the networks will better leverage our progress to date and facilitate continuing to improve diversity and inclusiveness across the firm,” according to Private Client Group President Scott Curtis.

Baker joined asset manager Carillon Tower Advisers in April 2017 and has led a team of 40 marketing professionals that handles its seven brands. Earlier, she worked for JPMorgan, Bank of New York, OppenheimerFunds (now Invesco) and Aberdeen Standard Investments.

The company says Michelle Lynch, who has led the Network for Women Advisors, will now be a sales manager for the Eastern Division of its employee channel, Raymond James & Associates.

At last year’s Women’s Symposium for female advisors, Raymond James Chairman and CEO Paul Reilly said the firm wanted to see the percentage of female financial advisors rise above 16% and appeal more to both women and minorities.

Women and minorities account for about 30% of the 250 yearly participants (or trainees) in the firm’s Advisor Mastery Program, Reilly said, but “how do we get to 50%?”

Baker’s appointment appears to be another step the firm is taking to support this effort. She is a board member for Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA) in the Tampa area and a trustee for American Stage, while  also serving as an adjunct instructor at the University of South Florida, where she teaches advertising management.

The executive earned a B.S. degree in finance from Rutgers, an M.B.A. from Penn State University, and a Doctorate in Business Administration from Wilmington University. She also has her Series 6, 63 and 26 licenses.

As of June 30, Raymond James had over 7,900 financial advisors.