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Industry Veteran Brings Unique Perspective to Role
ST. LOUIS – May 7, 2018 – Financial-services firm Edward Jones today announced the selection of Penny Pennington as its next managing partner, effective January 1, 2019. Pennington will succeed Jim Weddle, who will retire as of December 31, 2018.
Pennington began her career at Edward Jones in 2000 as a financial advisor in Livonia, MI. In 2006, Pennington was named a principal and relocated to the firm's St. Louis headquarters, where she has held senior leadership roles in key divisions of the firm. She is a member of the firm's Executive, Management and Audit Committees and a board member of the Edward Jones Trust Company. She is also a senior executive sponsor of the firm's LGBTA Business Resource Group.
A native of Nashville, TN, Pennington attended University of Virginia, where she earned a bachelor's degree in commerce with a concentration in finance. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst®, a graduate of Wharton's Securities Industry Institute and earned an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Pennington serves on the boards of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Saint Louis Fashion Fund, the Whitaker Foundation and the United Way.
"Penny is an excellent choice to serve as our firm’s sixth managing partner. Our Executive Committee is confident that she is immersed in our values, culture and partnership, with broad leadership experience in the field, at our headquarters and within our industry," said Weddle. "Having served as a financial advisor, she has first-hand understanding of what our clients value and our mission to grow and serve more individual investors."
The selection of Pennington followed an extensive deliberation by a succession committee composed of Edward Jones senior leaders and an external advisor.
Norm Eaker, a retired partner and chairman of the firm's succession committee, said, "We were fortunate to have several highly capable and qualified internal candidates to succeed Jim Weddle. The succession committee rigorously vetted the alternatives and were in unanimous agreement that Penny would be the committee's recommendation to succeed Jim Weddle when he steps down at the end of the year."
Since being named managing partner in 2006, Weddle has led the firm through the Great Recession, a changing regulatory and competitive environment, and changing client expectations.
"Jim has enhanced the client experience by listening to the voice of the client and strengthening the branch team, unleashing the potential of our financial advisors, branch office administrators and home-office associates," Pennington said. “He is an advocate for our clients, admired by our associates, respected by our competitors and appreciated by our communities where we operate and that we serve. My goal is to continue that momentum while developing and nurturing relationships with our clients, our associates and our communities."
During Weddle's 13-year tenure, Edward Jones grew from 9,000 financial advisors to more than 16,000, becoming one of the select firms serving more than 7 million clients with more than
$1 trillion in assets under care. With 16,095 financial advisors in 2017, the firm became the largest firm in North America in number of financial advisors.
Weddle accelerated the firm's evolution from product-based advice to solutions-based relationships, while establishing its vision to become the first choice of the individual investor by creating more trusted relationships and serving clients more deeply.
Edward Jones employs more than 43,000 associates across the U.S. and Canada. The firm, named the No. 5 Best Company to Work For in America by FORTUNE magazine and the Great Place to Work, recently was named the No. 1 Best Workplace in Financial Services & Insurance.