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James River Capital: Counseling the Masses on Leadership Essentials

To date, James River Capital Corp. stands to be one of the most successful investment advisory firms in the U.S. with an accumulated service management of more than $570 million in corporate products. The firm initially began its practice back in 1986 in Richmond, Virginia under its founding name of KP Futures Management Corporation. However, after serving as an alternate advisory department for Kidder, Peabody & Co., Inc., KP Futures Management switched over to being called “James River” upon being handed over to Paul Saunders (CEO) and Kevin Brandt (President) back in 1995. Nevertheless, for Paul Saunders, executing his duties as CEO/Chairman/Portfolio Manager of James River relatively came with ease because he had previously served as Director of Managed Accounts and Commodity Funds for Kidder, Peabody, & Co. and President of KP Futures Management up until he took over in ’95. Moreover, with both Saunders and Brandt teaming together to combine their ingenuity and professional skill within financial management, James River Capital acquired a substantial amount of recognition for being both reliable and proficient in their application of services. Learn more:


Additionally, since gaining its independence through the management of Saunders and Brandt, James River Capital became registered with the CFTC and SEC to run operations as an Investment Advisor, Commodity Pool Operator, and Commodity Trading Advisor. Furthermore, the firm’s success can also be attributed to James Rivers’ implemented investment philosophy off adding portfolio diversification value to reduce investment risks—a belief that mirrors the company’s treatment of their employees. According to a recent online article that was published by the firm, management leaders must develop the practice of enhancing their roles via three important methods in order to reduce the risk of causing a creatively stifled/socially unstable work environment. As related by James River, leaders must first change their concept of thinking by striving to interact with their employees upon the intent to “support them” rather than feeling the need to “lead them”. By training one’s mindset to apply this idea, it can enhance the entire dynamic of leadership.


Likewise, to establish mental clarity (“psychological safety”) within the work environment, leaders must provide their employees with the guilt/consequence free opportunity to openly express their issues on the job and must show appreciation when they do so. By enabling escalation, leaders contribute to the concept of “creative attentiveness” on the job and this heightens individual work ethics—boosting productivity and sociability. Yet, perhaps most important of all, James River advises all leaders to show appreciation for their employees by individually valuing their opinions and respecting their unique workmanship as a member of the team. As mentioned by the firm, this can be done by allowing each and every one of the employees to voice their concerns/ideas during meetings and personally engaging with the ones who are usually too reserved to do so.


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