Raymond James leadership pledges continued commitment to the Black community and programming to address racial inequality
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Amid collective despair following the tragic killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless others, 63 leaders across the Raymond James Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Operating Committee and Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council affirmed their continued focus and commitment to addressing racial inequality through a pledge for enhanced programming and dedicated support.
“At Raymond James, our business has always been people and their well-being, and that means fostering an environment where everyone truly feels valued and supported, an environment where everyone has an opportunity to prosper – regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation,” said Paul Reilly, chairman and CEO. “While we have always worked to ensure we have policies, training, programs and diversity and inclusion networks in place to help address racial inequality, we recognize that it is not enough. As a firm and as a profession, we have a long way to go on this journey. We know there are no simple solutions, but we are pledging to do all we can at Raymond James to be an agent of meaningful, positive and lasting change in support of more justice, well-being and humanity for the Black community.”
Following a special firmwide virtual webinar on race and its impact on the workplace on June 19, the pledge, which was shared with associates and advisors this week, details the firm’s plans to further address and advocate for racial equality at Raymond James and within the financial services industry at large.
Raymond James leaders affirmed their commitment to:
- Expand Black representation among our associates, advisors and corporate leadership through recruitment, investment in college pipeline programs, and mandated candidate pool diversity at the leadership level
- Establish explicit goals and implement transparent reporting to strengthen leadership accountability for hiring and retention of Black associates and advisors
- Launch a mentoring initiative to support the professional development and business growth of our Black associates and advisors
- Develop and deliver a training curriculum and resource portal that will include required courses on a variety of topics including unconscious bias training for every Raymond James associate and advisor
- Pledge an initial $1.5 million to support advancement of our Black communities, racial equality, financial literacy and empowerment, and volunteerism opportunities – in addition to declaring Juneteenth a firmwide day of service and education to ensure we continue the dialogue on racial equality and support our Black communities
“Now is the time to take action. I’m encouraged by the thoughtful, multi-level plan that Raymond James is announcing and the groundswell of collective support for the Black community,” said Tony Barrett, founding member of Raymond James’ Black Financial Advisors Network (BFAN) and a Raymond James & Associates complex manager. “It will take a lot to address an issue that has taken over 400 years’ worth of history to create, but this is just the beginning. We’re working to address this at various levels to ensure it has a broad, sweeping and long-term impact – not only within the firm but within our communities. I’m proud of our leadership’s ongoing support for diversity and inclusion. Though there is more work to do, I feel empowered by our collective efforts to bring sustainable, lasting change.”
The firm has well-established diversity and inclusion networks for advisors and corporate associates that provide opportunities for professional growth, development, education and support. In addition to the firm’s advisor-facing BFAN, Women Financial Advisors Network and Pride Financial Advisors Network, Raymond James offers education and programming to associates through the Women’s Inclusion Network, Pride Inclusion Network, Emerging Professionals Inclusion Network, Mosaic Inclusion Network (which brings multicultural associates together) and Valor Inclusion Network (which advocates for veterans’ advancement and community outreach).
About Raymond James Financial, Inc.
Raymond James Financial, Inc. (NYSE: RJF) is a leading diversified financial services company providing private client group, capital markets, asset management, banking and other services to individuals, corporations and municipalities. The company has approximately 8,100 financial advisors. Total client assets are $828 billion. Public since 1983, the firm is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RJF. Additional information is available at www.raymondjames.com.