TopVet: Dick Averitt, Raymond James Financial Services

Dick Averitt

In a period of financial uncertainty, The Marine Corps can take pride in having one of its own at the top of a major investment company. A 20-year Veteran of the Corps, Dick Averitt is chairman and chief executive officer of Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raymond James Financial, Inc.

Founded in 1974, Raymond James Financial Services (RJFS) has more than 3,200 financial advisors in approximately 2,000 offices nationwide. RJFS offers advice on general securities, such as individual stocks and bonds, and professionally managed investment alternatives, primarily using an asset allocation and/or financial planning methodology. Averitt has been with Raymond James since 1978.

In 1991, he was appointed senior vice president and national sales manager for the firm. He became executive vice president in 1997, and in 1999 was named executive vice president of the newly formed Raymond James Financial Services. He was appointed to his current position as chairman and CEO in May, 2002.

Averitt spent nine years as a regular officer and naval aviator in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot. He is also a 20-year Veteran of the Marine Corps Reserves, principally as a member of an attack helicopter squadron in Atlanta, where he ended his tour as commanding officer. He retired from the Corps in 1994 with the rank of colonel.

Averitt credits his 26 years in the Marine Corps with "shaping him up" for success in the competitive world of investments. Marines thrive on fast tempo and rapid decisions with adequate information (the proverbial 70 percent solution) and Averitt is no exception. But, in following that philosophy, "you have to deal with others with care, not capriciously, and not attack other people because you think they deserve it. You may win the engagement, but you create an enemy," he said. "I learned a great deal from a major in the Marine Corps, who was a student of management in the Armed Forces and was my commanding officer. He once told me that you can only afford to have 5 enemies in the world at one time," he also reflects. "If you have people shooting at your backside, you have absolutely no idea how much damage they could be doing."

EDUCATION AND PERSONAL
A 1967 graduate of Duke University, Averitt received his Certified Financial Planner™ certification in 1979. He is a graduate of the Securities Industry Institute at Wharton (1989-91) and the Executive Development Consortium at Emory University (1998).

He was founding chairman of a charitable organization for Marines and their families and has been active in support of local civic groups in Atlanta. He and his wife, Sandra Averitt, Ph.D., a professor at Kennesaw University in Atlanta, have been married 35 years and have three grown children.

Photo Credit: http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2012/05/25/raymond-james-averitt-recognized-for-leadership-at

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