Greeting attendees at the second annual Financial Services Institute's Broker-Dealer Conference on January 23, conference chair Jeff Montgomery noted that FSI "got here as fast as it could." Montgomery, CEO of NFP Securities, pointed out that there were 530 registrants for the conference in San Diego, that 60% of that number were B/D executives, and that there were more than 100 first-time attendees. In two short years since spinning off from the Financial Planning Association, the FSI has sharpened its focus and had some clear successes, particularly in its advocacy efforts.
"The FSI is about impact," Montgomery said, within the industry, with regulators, vendors, and members of the public.
"It's our solemn duty to serve the
public," he said.
John Poff of Mutual Service Corp. and the chair of the FSI board, told attendees that FSI had had "seven constructive meetings" with NASD over the past year and noted that John Simmers was nominated to serve on the NASD Board of Governors (see below). FSI members are also serving on nine of 100 NASD District Committees this year, and eight members are serving on District Nominating Committees. The group has hired a consultant for its Congressional strategy--Bartlett & Bendall--and concluding that it's "more advantageous" to have influence with "fewer, more powerful members in Congress." He revealed that FSI has identified 10 Congressional candidates that it may support. To do so, FSI has also made a concerted push to increase member funding for its political action committee. Finally, acknowledging the efforts of outgoing chair Tony Batman of 1st Global, Poff announced that FSI would present a new annual award, the "Tony Batman Leadership Award."