Tom James, one of the Tampa Bay area's highest profile business leaders as longtime CEO of Raymond James Financial, has tapped board member Paul Reilly to succeed him.
Reilly, who grew up in St. Petersburg and is executive chairman of recruiting powerhouse Korn/Ferry International, will join St. Petersburg-based Raymond James on May 1. After one year, he'll succeed James as CEO. James, 66, will continue at the company as executive chairman of the board.
Raymond James' current president, Chet Helck, will retain the role of chief operating officer, a company spokeswoman said.
Reilly has a long history in the executive recruiting and accounting worlds. Before joining Korn/Ferry as chairman and CEO in 2001, Reilly was the CEO of KPMG International, a firm of more than 100,000 employees with annual revenues of $12 billion.
Based in Amsterdam, he ran global operations for KPMG, responsible for overall strategy. Prior to that, he ran the firm's financial services business.
Reilly joined Raymond James' board in 2005, and has served as chair of its audit committee for the past year. But James' connections with Reilly stretch further back than that.
"Because he grew up in St. Petersburg, I have known Paul and his family since he was a young tennis player,'' James said. "Since then, he has demonstrated success in academia and international business, as well as, in recent years, as a public company CEO.
"During his three-year tenure as a board member of Raymond James Financial, he has exhibited high intellect, financial acumen, good decision-making skills, objectivity, and a commitment to the values and tenets upon which Raymond James was founded."
Reilly noted how, in growing up in St. Petersburg, he noticed the rise of Raymond James "from an impressive local business to one of the country's largest securities firms. I have long had a special affinity and admiration for the company and my regard for Raymond James and its executive team has only grown during my tenure as a board member.''