Paul Reilly, who recently took over as the chief executive of Raymond James Financial, wants to take the company to a new level.
Reilly said his goal is to build on Raymond James' reputation for having 90 consecutive quarters of profitability, in order to attract top-performing financial advisers from other firms and create new programs to aid the advisers already at Raymond James.
"This is our real opportunity," he said Thursday in a wide-ranging speech at the 16th Annual Raymond James Women Advisor Symposium.
Reilly told the roomful of women advisers that he wants Raymond James to be the premier alternative to the Wall Street powerhouses but "still have the feel of [a] family, regional firm."
In its efforts to get more large producers, it is planning to adjust its transition assistance polices or loan packages for new hires, Reilly said. He acknowledged that many large firms, such as the wire houses, have paid a lot of money to their current advisers to lock them down.
In addition, Raymond James will be seeking growth in its investment banking and municipal securities operations. Raymond James, of St. Petersburg, Fla., is also looking to create new product offerings while maintaining open architecture, Reilly said. One area will be to offer more nonpurpose lending for high-net-worth clients and business owners, he said.
Finally, when asked about diversity at Raymond James, particularly women in its management ranks, Reilly said that "the financial services industry is horrid" when getting women into top management and executive positions. "You look at the industry, and it's done a horrible job at diversity." But he said that it's a supply problem because there haven't been more women in the pipeline.
Reilly, who headed up Korn/Ferry and KPMG before coming over to Raymond James, said that those firms had systems in place to aid diversity efforts. "One of the reasons I think [Raymond James is] behind is that we've had a lot managers who have been here a long time," he said. "We haven't had many positions open up."
But, Reilly also said: "You have to fight subtle biases."
And Raymond James examines gender and diversity statistics in every manager's review. "It's a challenge but we'll get there over time."