Reilly became president of RJF in May and will add CEO to his title when founder Tom James steps down next year after 41 years as chief executive. Registered Rep. talked with Reilly about his new role at the firm.
Registered Rep: You've served on Raymond James Financial's board of directors since 2005 and as chair of its audit committee for the last year. How has that experience helped prepare for your new role?
Paul Reilly: I oversaw management's financial controls, the risk management at the company and the finance reporting. You see a lot of numbers and know exactly how the company is performing. I wouldn't have [accepted this position] if I was worried about the health of the company.
RR: How has your schedule changed since May?
PR: Day to day I've been attending a lot of meetings to get to know the company better. There's a lot to learn. I've been attending budget meetings and meet with Tom as well. I've also been busy visiting branches in Chicago, Toronto and Atlanta.
RR: How can you ease advisors' nerves about the change in leadership at Raymond James?
PR: This is a planned transition. Over the last year, there have been plenty of financial advisors and other employees who have had no voice in the changes that have occurred at their firms. Here, Tom has asked me to do this by choice.
RR: What kinds of changes should we expect next year?
PR: I think it will be the same Raymond James, except it will be stronger and better. I see us continuing in the same direction of conservative growth, with a conservative balance sheet and putting our financial advisors first. We don't need big changes at Raymond James. We can become better at the things we do, but our philosophy will remain the same. I'm here to help grow a legacy.