"We conducted a nationwide search," for the job of chief operating officer for Pershing Advisor Solutions (PAS), says Mark Tibergien, and found the top candidate "in the office next door." Thus in late February, PAS named Karen Novak as COO, who will report to Tibergien, who heads the Pershing custody unit for RIAs as managing director. Novak joined Pershing in 1996 and most recently was a managing director and chief operations manager for PAS. John Iachello was the last person to fill the role of COO at Pershing Advisor Solutions; he retired in late 2007 following Tibergien's hiring from Moss Adams.
Tibergien said Pershing "wants to work with growth-oriented advisors with sophisticated clients, and who need to invest in their businesses." He acknowledges that "our competitors are formidable and good," but says that Pershing can "differentiate by looking through to the end client," and can accomplish that level of service with the firm's "global reach." PAS will know it's making progress against those competitors, he said, partly "when advisors consolidate assets from other custodians with Pershing, and also when it wins the "confidence of other services providers who can refer other advisors to us."
Novak says "people are a key differentiator" at Pershing, citing its commitment to increasing its investment in forming career paths, mentoring, and training for the firm's associates. Over the next one to two years, Pershing will "continue to evaluate" its management structure "as we flatten the org chart." Her goal as COO is to "help advisors become more efficient and achieve greater success," and operationally "we want to see the problems before the client notices them."