It’s the end of an era at Raymond James.

The regional broker-dealer announced late Thursday that its Global Private Client Group CEO Chet Helck is retiring after a 25-year career with the firm. He will step down from his role at the February board of directors meeting but will remain a special senior advisor through the end of 2014 to help with the transition period.

The Private Client Group Helck has overseen is the largest business unit at Raymond James. Firm officials emphasized that under Helck's leadership, the group grew significantly in size and reputation.

"Chet has been a very strong leader for our organization," said Raymond James Financial CEO Paul Reilly. "He was our first head of a combined Private Client Group and has managed our core business through challenging markets while delivering consistently excellent results."

In addition to leading the Raymond James Private Client Group, Helck was a member of the firm's executive committee and board of directors and served as chair of industry group SIFMA.

"Chet's contributions to the firm go beyond his leadership with our Private Client Group, including as a key contributor to the development of the firm's technology, wealth solutions and marketing efforts," said Raymond James Financial Executive Chairman Tom James. “Prior to his broader PCG leadership role, Chet was one of a small management team that made Investment Management & Research and its successor, Raymond James Financial Services, a leader in the independent contractor brokerage business."

“I have been privileged to help lead one of the industry’s finest companies," Helck said. "Raymond James is well-established as the destination for the best advisors in the industry."

Upon approval, Scott Curtis, president of Raymond James Financial Services, and Tash Elwyn, president of Raymond James & Associates, will join the firm’s executive committee at the February board meeting.

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