Raymond James is in the process of converting 80 of its corporate offices in St. Petersburg, Fla., into “Zoom rooms,” to allow its staff to continue to conduct meetings remotely.
“What the pandemic did was just to accelerate—maybe by a decade plus—the interactions we’re having right now because we have to,” said Paul Reilly, CEO of Raymond James Financial, speaking at SIFMA’s Private Client Virtual Conference this week. “We can’t get together in a big group.”
The firm's branch offices will most likely operate under a hybrid approach, once folks come back into the office, with some combination of in-person and virtual interactions. The firm is currently working out the details of what the branch office work environments are going to look like going forward, and how people are going to be spaced out once advisors go back into the offices
“Face to face is important, but a lot of clients—they don’t want a face-to-face meeting every time,” Reilly said. “We’ve got to have offices that suit that.”
In March 2020, the firm hired Willem VanDooijeweert, former managing director and real estate and operations transformation leader for PwC, as head of real estate and operational transformation at Raymond James. He was then tasked with getting the firm into mobile facilities.
“Even if we’re back live, there’s always going to be hybrid people on Zoom somewhere, where before it was always awkward,” Reilly said.