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Jodi Perry takes over as head of independent advisors at Raymond James in giant reshuffle that still leaves Van Law's RIA position vacant

The former Southeast director is now in the position vacated by Scott Curtis as he ascends the ladder -- and oversees Perry

Thursday, June 28, 2018 – 10:44 PM by Brooke Southall
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Jodi Perry made the leap from sales to near c-suite in a matter of weeks.

Brooke's Note: Raymond James is really the only company out there with a play in all three financial advisory channels -- full service, IBD reps and RIAs. But that trifecta has stretched leadership bandwidth and left management scrambling to cover all the bases. The RIA unit still has no permanent head, and the firm just reached down two levels to find a new IBD head. Not that it won't work out fine. The company's common shares trade at about $90 currently up from about $45 five years ago. It's growing, but CEO Paul Reilly is earning his keep, to say the least, plugging management holes.

In the HR equivalent of a blink of an eye, Jodi Perry has become the highest ranking executive overseeing independent advisors at Raymond James. She  scaled two executive levels in barely two months and will now serve as president of RJFS-Independent Contractor Division, a newly created position. 

The former national sales director of Raymond James Financial Services-- a position she just ascended to last month from her perch as Southeast sales director -- replaced Scott Curtis, who is moving upstairs as part of a corporate succession plan. She'll continue to report to him. See: Raymond James lets six advisors steal the show at its national event with TED-style talks

Tash Elwyn, current president of Raymond James & Associates (RJA) PCG, is also moving up He's been named president and CEO of the RJA broker/dealer, adding regulatory oversight and reporting responsibilities to his duties.

Despite her quick rise, Perry has paid her dues. She began her career with Raymond James in 1994. She holds a business degree from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla, and completed SIFMA’s Securities Industry Institute program at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

“In her expanded leadership role, I’m confident Jodi will effectively lead the continued growth and success of the RJFS independent contractor division and further enhance the support and resources provided to independent financial advisors and branch professionals affiliated with our firm,” Curtis noted.

RIA vacancy

But a big question mark still hangs over Raymond James' RIA unit, following Bill Van Law's sudden exit from the top job back in March. "We do not have updates on Bill Van Law’s former position at this time," a company spokeswoman said in response to a query. See: Bill Van Law's exit from Raymond James was preceded by 'administrative leave' and HR investigation, sources say

Meanwhile, Curtis takes a big step up to head the firm’s Private Client Group (PCG). With this change, he will be responsible for overseeing all of the firm’s domestic PCG divisions, including his old charges in the IBD and the traditional full-service brokerage. See: With Dick Averitt retiring, Raymond James taps a star, Scott Curtis, from within to take on LPL

“With Scott’s deep experience and institutional knowledge, we are excited for his potential to drive cross-organizational leadership and continued success for our wealth management business,” Raymond James Chairman and CEO Paul Reilly said to explain his elevation of Curtis in a release. 

Prior to his current role, Curtis served as senior vice president of RJA PCG for six years. Before that, he supported both domestic PCG businesses as president of the firm’s insurance group, Planning Corporation of America (now Raymond James Insurance Group).

He joined the firm 15 years ago from GE Financial, where he was senior vice president, leading several key business units during his 13 years with the organization. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Denison University and an MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

Executive Shuffle

The executive shuffle was set off by the retirement, announced in April, of Raymond James Financial Chief Operating Officer Dennis Zank, who industry watchers regard as the last of the firm's old guard.

Zank plans to continue his affiliation with the firm as a financial advisor -- hence, he will be on hand indefinitely to assist with transitions, as needed. He is set to vacate his position Sept. 30. 

As of March 30, Raymond James had 4,551 independent advisors — up from 4,221 12 months before. It also has 3,053 full-service brokers and total Private Client Group assets under administration of $695 billion. The company posted a record $157.6 million in first-quarter, pre-tax profits and $1.27 billion in net revenue.



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