Securities America Ends 2012 with 309% Increase in Recruited GDC Revenue
Robust pipeline attracted to small-firm culture, big-firm technology
LA VISTA, Neb.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The right mix of high touch customer service and high tech processes helped Securities America end 2012 with an increase of 309 percent in recruited gross dealer concessions (GDC) revenue.
"We're perfectly situated to address two major advisor motivators for changing broker-dealers: advisors at wirehouses and large independent broker-dealers who want more responsive customer service, and advisors at smaller firms who want better technology and help growing their business," said Jim Nagengast, CEO and president of Securities America, a subsidiary of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. (NYSE MKT: LTS). "We have a full recruiting pipeline of advisors who tell us either they have outgrown the capabilities of their current BD, or their current BD has grown to where it no longer values them and their business."
In January, Securities America announced that 30 advisors from regional broker-dealer Eagle One Investments had joined - just weeks after Securities America acquired 130 advisors from Investors Security Company. Both groups cited increased compliance and technology costs as a primary reason for seeking a partnership with a larger company - and a responsive culture and accessible executive team as their reason for choosing Securities America.
"The financial pressures of running a successful broker-dealer today are squeezing many smaller firms to the point where it just makes sense to affiliate with a larger entity that can spread those costs across more advisors," Nagengast said. "At the same time, they want support from home office employees whose names, voices and faces become familiar to them. Advisors want to know their business and their clients come first - and with Securities America, they can be confident in that."
Securities America attracted its share of large producers and branches as well, including Ryan Kaufman's Koi Wealth Management, a $1.3 million revenue branch in Rocklin, Calif., from Woodbury Financial Services; John Lindsey, a former Edward Jones advisor in Westlake, Calif., with $100 million in client assets; and Michael Mullis' Kelly & Mullis Wealth Management, a Vestavia, Ala., practice with $223 million in client assets that moved from LPL Financial.
"From all the conversations I had with recruiters and executives, I could tell the Securities America culture was different from the other broker-dealers I was talking to," Mullis said. "Every department is aware of how advisors are doing and asks how they can help. Our transition experience was great, as you would expect - that's the honeymoon period. And it's just gotten better since. Advisors I talked to kept telling me, 'You'll be amazed by this culture.' They were right."
With its acquisition by Ladenburg Thalmann in late 2011, Securities America's advisors gained access to capabilities more typically associated with a wirehouse such as investment banking, syndicate offerings, a dedicated fixed income desk and advisor-friendly trust services.
"In the past, we found some wirehouse advisors reluctant to give up access to investment banking, IPOs and bond inventory - even though they were often expected to sell those same investments to their clients - and the prestige those services can carry with high net worth clients," said Gregg Johnson, senior vice president of branch office development and acquisitions. "Now advisors can have those Wall Street services for their more sophisticated clients plus the independence they want to best serve all of their clients."
Johnson said Securities America is actively searching for a national director of recruiting, who will report to Johnson, and additional business development officers to meet the demands of its growing pipeline and business development team.
"We're attracting highly successful advisors who have been in positions of leadership and influence at their previous broker-dealers," Johnson said. "The word-of-mouth referrals are growing, as is our reputation for welcoming smaller, regional broker-dealers who have decided to get out of the broker-dealer business. We are expanding and enhancing our processes for bringing on these large groups of advisors in a way that minimizes the disruption to their business and their clients. Then we follow up with consultations with our home office experts in practice management, advisory services, marketing and wealth management to see how we can help them get even better."
About Securities America
Headquartered in La Vista, Neb., Securities America Inc. is the nation's eighth largest independent broker-dealer (as ranked by Financial Planning magazine, June 2012, based on 2011 total revenue). For more than 25 years, Securities America's mission has been to foster the success of financial professionals so they can provide quality, objective counsel and services to their clients. Advisors benefit from the firm's industry-leading programs in practice management, advisory services and retirement income distribution, supported by state-of-the-art technology. Founded in 1993, Securities America Advisors Inc. is an SEC-Registered Investment Advisory firm that offers investment management, financial advice and financial planning through a national network of independent financial advisors. Securities America Financial Corp. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. (NYSE MKT: LTS). Securities America received the inaugural Thought Leadership Award from the Retirement Income Industry Association in March 2011. Additional information is available at www.securitiesamerica.com.
This press release includes certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding future growth of the independent brokerage and advisory business. These statements are based on management's current expectations or beliefs and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may vary materially from those expressed or implied by the statements herein due to changes in economic, business, competitive and/or regulatory factors, and other risks and uncertainties affecting the operation of the Company's business. These risks, uncertainties and contingencies include those set forth in Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc.'s annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012 and other factors detailed from time to time in its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The information set forth herein should be read in light of such risks. Further, investors should keep in mind that the Company's quarterly revenue and profits can fluctuate materially depending on many factors. Accordingly, the Company's revenue and profits in any particular quarter may not be indicative of future results. The Company is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in assumptions or otherwise.
Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc., an SEC Registered Investment Advisory Firm. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Securities America and Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services, Inc. are not affiliated with any other entity named.
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