Our Firm

Who is “Raymond James?”

July 13, 2017

More than five decades ago, the firm became Raymond James & Associates.

To this day, people interacting with Raymond James for the first time assume that, somewhere in the firm’s past, there was a founding father named Ray James. In fact, there never was such a person. 

Raymond – Edward Raymond – was a lawyer and financial planner who ran his own fifteen-employee mutual fund sales group, Raymond and Associates, in Bradenton, Sarasota and other cities and towns along Florida’s west coast. Wanting to retire, Raymond sold his company to Bob James on July 15, 1964, with the agreement that James would change the name of the surviving firm to Raymond, James & Associates.   

Three days after the sale, Ed Raymond was involved in a near-fatal automobile accident from which no one expected him to recover. A year and a half later, Raymond had in fact recovered, but he never rejoined the firm. Nonetheless, even after Raymond had passed away, Bob James insisted that Raymond’s name remain on the door – ahead of James’ own. That was a promise he had made to Ed Raymond three days before the auto accident, and Bob James was a man who kept his promises. 

That same integrity he demonstrated back in 1964 is what we, as a firm, continue to strive for today. Leaning on Bob’s example, this legacy is the heartbeat of our values. It inspires us to build trust, act in the best interest of others, and remain objective, respectful and professional in our everyday interactions. Not just because it’s the right thing to do. But because it’s made us who we are today – “Raymond James” – and that’s something we're proud of. 

Want to learn more about our heritage? Take a stroll down our history timeline to get to know who we are and how we got here.