Paul Shoukry was just over two months into his new position as chief financial officer at Raymond James Financial when the Covid-19 crisis hit.
His efforts to steer the St. Petersburg-based financial services firm through the pandemic have now earned him a spot on Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list for the finance industry.
Shoukry was able to quickly secure a $500 million debt offering to shore up the company, Fortune said.
“The true measure of a leader is not how they perform during good times, when everything is going really well. The true measure of a leader is how they perform and how effective he or she is during the most challenging times,” Shoukry said in a video produced by Fortune to highlight the 40 Under 40 honorees.
Shoukry joined Raymond James in 2010 to participate in the firm’s Assistant to the Chairman program. He earned an MBA with honors from Columbia University.
He became CFO on Jan. 1, succeeding Jeff Julien, who had been CFO at Raymond James since 1987. At 37 years old, Shoukry is among the youngest chief financial officers for a Fortune 500 company.
He’s played a key role in another major initiative. Shoukry is the the executive sponsor of the company’s multicultural inclusion network and helped lead the firm’s response to the killing of George Floyd this spring and its pledge to hire more Black employees, Fortune said.
Several other Floridians also are on the Fortune 40 Under 40 lists, which include 40 people in each of five industries: finance, technology, healthcare, government and politics, and entertainment.
Another finance category honoree is Suneera Madhani, the 32-year-old founder and CEO of Fattmerchant, an Orlando-based payments company. She shared the story behind her company’s growth at TiEcon Florida in 2019.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, a 38-year-old Republican who represents Florida’s 1st Congressional District in the Panhandle. He’s one of the honorees in the government and politics category. Some believe Gaetz is a rising star in the Republican Party, Fortune said.
In the healthcare category, Fortune named Rebekah Jones as a 40 Under 40 honoree. Jones, who is 31 years old, is the geospatial scientist who designed and managed the Covid-19 tracking dashboard for Florida’s Department of Health, and said she was fired in May when she refused to change data.
See the full Fortune 40 Under 40 here.