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Raymond James COO to step aside after 40-year career

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A top executive is leaving his top position at Raymond James & Associates — after initially joining the company in 1978 — leaving a prominent vacancy atop one of the industry’s leading regional and independent broker-dealers.

Dennis Zank will retire from the COO role, where he oversaw operations at the firm’s advisory, brokerage and insurance businesses and assets totaling $732 billion, the firm says. He will continue to be affiliated with Raymond James as a financial advisor in a local branch following the transition. The shift becomes effective at the end of September.

“From his initial job as a staff accountant 40 years ago, Dennis demonstrated superior performance and quickly progressed through operations and accounting ranks until he became its leader,” Tom James, Raymond James chairman emeritus and former CEO, says in a statement.

In addition to his role as COO, Zank was appointed CEO of Raymond James & Associates, the firm’s employee channel, in 2002.

Raymond James' RIA head, Bill Van Law stepped down, last month, after a 15-year tenure.

CEO Paul Reilly says Zank oversaw some of the firm’s largest and most successful businesses over an extended period of growth, adding that his leadership “will not be easily replaced.”

The St. Petersburg, Florida-based firm has experienced significant growth in recent years. The firm saw strong recruiting of independent advisors in the fourth quarter and a record headcount of 7,537 advisors. Most recently, Raymond James added advisors in Arkansas, Kentucky, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

“It has been an honor to be a part of Raymond James’ growth and I am proud of what the firm has become,” Zank says.

Zank began his career with Robert Thomas in 1983 and was also affiliated with Roney & Co. and Howe Barners Hoefer & Arnett during his career, per BrokerCheck. All of those firms were acquired by Raymond James, says the firm. He first registered with Raymond James in 1989, per BrokerCheck.

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