Recognized as one of BC's Top Employers (2018)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 22, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Raymond James Ltd. was selected as one of BC's Top Employers (2018):
- Raymond James offers new employees with 3.3 weeks (or 18 days) of starting paid vacation, moving to 4 weeks after only 3 years on the job -- employees can also apply for unpaid and self-funded leaves of absence
- Every May, Raymond James' employees reach out to the community and volunteer with their chosen local initiatives as part of the annual "Raymond James Cares Month" program -- over 60 organizations were supported last year, with employees receiving paid time off to volunteer as well as generous matching charitable donations (to $2,000)
- Raymond James supports employees who are new parents, providing mothers with maternity leave top-up payments, as well as parental leave top-up payments for fathers and adoptive parents (to 70% of salary for 16 weeks) -- and also offers the option to extend parental leave into an unpaid leave of absence
Altruism yields social dividends at Raymond James
Numbers are naturally very important at Raymond James Ltd., the Canadian subsidiary of Raymond James Financial, one of North America's leading independent full-service investment dealers. But not just financial figures. Jennifer Gibson, Branch Administrator at Raymond James's corporate branch in downtown Vancouver, proudly rattles off some other numbers:
"During the last Raymond James Cares Month, we collectively volunteered 2,025 hours across Canada. We donated 2,429 pounds of food, plus $6,899, to food banks. We removed 131 pounds of garbage from shorelines. Seventy-five charities and non-profits benefited from our volunteerism."
And in 2016, Gibson -- one of about 500 full-time Raymond James employees in B.C. -- got to participate in a Raymond James charitable activity she calls "absolutely a life-changing experience." She was one of eight people, including CEO Paul Allison and his wife and five other employees, who travelled to India, each at their own expense. Under the auspices and leadership of the non-profit Sleeping
Children Around the World and in partnership with Raymond James Canada Foundation (RJCF), the team visited the city of Belgaum in Karnataka state to distribute 3,000 bed kits to children in the area.
Then, in the village of Kalthana -- which Raymond James had adopted through a 2014 donation to Free the Children -- they rebuilt a wall around a school the company had helped construct. Thanks to donations from staff and partners and matching donations from RJCF, $50,000 has been raised for Free the Children's WE Villages program. This year, a Raymond James team will distribute 2,000 bed kits and clothing in Tanzania.
Deborah Best, the company's Vice President Human Resources, says giving back is in the DNA of Raymond James, one of B.C.'s Top Employers for the third year running. In addition to Raymond James Cares Month in May, when employees get a day with pay to volunteer in their communities, in November the company encourages associates to donate to charities of their choice, and matches their donations.
Best says that attitude of caring extends to employees. The company regularly surveys them and responds, such as by improving benefits. In 2017, it topped up its already-generous maternity and parental leaves by three weeks, boosted its retirement savings plan, and announced B.C. Medical Service Plan premiums will be 100-per-cent company paid. Among several employee-advancement measures, it has a well-established initiative to increase the number of female financial advisors.
"We're always thinking long-term, in our commitment both to clients and our employees," says Best. "We want employees to grow with us and be proud to work here."