Raymond James cuts manager after confrontation with protester goes viral

Raymond James Financial Inc., citing its “zero tolerance for racism,” fired a senior bond manager Monday after he and a woman were caught on video confronting a San Francisco man who was stenciling the Black Lives Matter slogan on the property where he lives.

Raymond James would not comment on the identity of the bond manager, but local news reports identify him as Robert Larkins.

“Raymond James has zero tolerance for racism or discrimination of any kind,” according to the company’s statement. “An inclusive workplace is fundamental to our culture, and we expect our associates to conduct themselves appropriately inside and outside of the workplace.

“After an investigation into the circumstances of a video alleging racism by one of our associates, we have concluded that the actions of he and his partner were inconsistent with our values, and the associate is no longer employed with Raymond James,” the statement said.

Mr. Larkins was a managing director in Raymond James’ public finance group based in San Francisco and had worked at the firm since 2012, according to his BrokerCheck report.

James Juanillo was named in local reports as the man who was the target of questions from Larkins and his companion regarding the correctness of his actions. They also called the police about the incident.

Juanillo reportedly posted the video to social media platforms on Friday. The video was widely viewed on Twitter over the weekend.

An ABC station in San Francisco reported: “The video begins with the couple asking Juanillo if he was ‘defacing private property’ moments after he finished writing the phrase on a retaining wall outside of his home.”

“‘If I did live here, and this was my property, this would be absolutely fine? And you don’t know if I live here, if this is my property?’” Juanillo responded, according to ABC news.

A message left for Larkins Monday at his Raymond James office was not returned. According to ABC News, he issued a statement of apology, as did the woman in the video, Lisa Alexander, who does not work in the financial services industry.

“Over the last two days, I have had my eyes opened wide to my own ignorance of racial inequity, and I have thought a lot about my own personal blind spots,” according to Larkin’s statement published by ABC News. “I was wrong to question Mr. Juanillo, and I was wrong to call the neighborhood police watch. It was wrong, and I am profoundly sorry for treating him with disrespect.”

This is the second recent incident of a major financial services company firing an employee for confrontations with minorities that appeared on Twitter.

Last month, Franklin Templeton fired an employee after a confrontation she had with an African American man in Central Park that was captured on video.