Raymond James Financial announced today that longtime Chief Executive Officer Paul Reilly would be stepping down from that position sometime in fiscal 2025, which begins in October, and handing the reins to the company's chief financial officer, Paul Shoukry, who will become president effective immediately.

Reilly, the current CEO and chairman of Raymond James, will remain on the company's board as executive chair. He became CEO in 2010 after being designated for the role the year before. Reilly was preceded by Tom James, who succeeded the firm's founder, Bob James, as CEO when he was 27 in 1969. Tom James remained executive chair from 2010 until 2017.

Reilly joined Raymond James's board in 2006 and became chair in 2017, the company webisite says. Before that he served CEO stints at Korn Ferry and KPMG International.

Reilly made the news in early January when it was announced his total compensation had doubled for 2023, rising to $34.9 million from $17.6 million in 2022. He has overseen the company at a time when broker-dealers have thrived, recently for the money they are making on cash sweeps at a time of high interest rates. However, the firm like many rivals has also struggled with advisor head count at a time of high competition and accelerating advisor retirements.

Reilly himself says that the firm often stresses quality over quantity when it comes to the compensation held out to advisors joining the platform. Since January of 2011, Raymond James shares have climbed from about $25 a share to $122 a share.

On a recent earnings call in late January, Reilly voiced skepticism about the wisdom and financial viability of the acquisition fever sweeping the RIA space, often led by private equity. "Probably the biggest change in the competitive landscape has been RIA roll-ups that pay prices [for advisory firms] that we can't quite figure out, and it's a bet on aggregating and being able to go to market at some point even though those higher multiples are much bigger than public multiples," he said. "So that's a new kind of competitor that's kind of led price."

Other firms have taken a more aggressive approach than Raymond James. Competitors like LPL Financial and multiple rivals backed by private equity and venture capital have bid up prices for advisory firms. "The market determines pricing," one rival said in a recent interview. "There's huge value to wealth management practices. There's huge value to recurring revenue streams."

Shoukry, who sits in on earnings calls with Reilly and frequently fields questions involving balance sheet details, joined Raymond James in 2010 and became CFO in 2020. When he started at the financial services and brokerage firm, he was first an assistant to the chairman and before that he worked as a strategy consultant and commercial banker. He was also named to Fortune magazine's "40 under 40 in Finance."

As CFO, Raymond James said, Shoukry "is responsible for the overall financial management of the company, including balance sheet management, financial reporting, investor relations, corporate development, corporate tax, cash management, regulatory reporting, and financial planning and analysis. He oversees the firm’s bank segment, is a member of the firm’s executive committee, and serves on the boards of subsidiaries Raymond James & Associates and TriState Capital Bank."

"Once the planned succession process is complete, Shoukry would become only the fourth chief executive in the company’s history," said Raymond James in a press release. He will keep his current responsibilities until he transitions into the CEO role, the company said.

Raymond James announced other executive changes as well. Jeff Dowdle will be retiring from the COO role at the end of the fiscal year, to be replaced by Scott Curtis, president of the Raymond James Financial Private Client Group. Tash Elwyn, the current CEO of  Raymond James & Associates, will become president of the Private Client Group. Jim Bunn, president of Global Equities & Investment Banking, will become president of the Capital Markets segment. The company said these changes become effective October 1, 2024.