While stock-market rallies have come and gone over the past 50 years, solid leadership at Raymond James has been more consistent. That stewardship is being celebrated by the firm nationwide – as well as in Canada and the United Kingdom—on August 16.

Tom James, son of co-founder Robert James and CEO from 1970 to 2010, says the financial and economic swings actually have given the broker-dealer the chance to shine—and grow. The down periods he refers to are those of 1973-1974, 1987-1989, 2000-2002 and 2007-2009.

"Were they the worst years for us? In some senses, yes, but they were also the best," James shared during an interview. "As we have been able to see in later years, we created discipline, business plans and a strategic approach to the business that has been successful in the long term: You get good opportunities" in bad times, he concludes.

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Janet Levaux

Editor-in-Chief Janet Levaux has covered the financial markets since 1991, with a focus on financial advisors since 2005. After graduating from Yale and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where she studied global economics, Janet worked as a freelance financial and business writer in Japan, and then as a reporter and editor for Investor's Business Daily and the Bay Area News Group in California. She earned an MBA in 2007 and since then has helped lead key ThinkAdvisor projects like its Neal-Award winning reporting on Ken Fisher, Luminaries awards program and Women in Wealth newsletter.