This is an extended version of the profile that appeared in the May issue of Investment Advisor, part of AdvisorOne's Special Report profiling this year's members of the IA 25, the most influential people in and around the advisor universe. See the complete list and Special Report schedule for extended profiles of all the 2011 members of the IA 25.
Dale Brown has a problem. He’s been so effective in the management of the Financial Services Institute that he now has to figure out how to best manage its growth.
“Over the next six to 12 months, we have to figure out just how to ramp up on our staffing,” Brown (left) says. “We’re recently added a chief operating officer to our Atlanta office, and I’ve moved to Washington now full time.”
It’s a critical time for the organization, one that advocates on behalf of independent broker-dealers and their affiliated reps. Having just celebrated its fifth anniversary, the organization has nonetheless had a major say in the legislation and regulation that’s occurred in the advisor space over the past few years, most notably Dodd-Frank financial reform.
“We have our fingerprints all over that one,” Brown says. “We didn’t get everything we wanted, obviously, but then again no one did. But we had a significant seat at the table, and we were able to help influence its outcome.”
A sign of the organization’s influence was apparent at its annual OneVoice conference in Phoenix in January. The featured guest was Richard “Rick” Ketchum, chairman and CEO of FINRA, and Brown was able to ask him many of the questions top of mind for FSI members.
“What I will say is that [Ketchum] was absolutely consistent in terms of what he told our board members in a private meeting and what he said in the public forum,” he says. “He was absolutely transparent about what he was telling us. We’re advocating for FINRA to be the single industry SRO, and one of the strengths FINRA has is that they have always been up-front about their self-interest in being that SRO.”
Brown was impressed with Ketchum’s openness in discussing the SRO responsibility and how he would take it on.
“He recognized there was no point in taking a rules-based approach to advisor oversight, our model just doesn’t fit that way,” he adds. “But he absolutely agreed that the examination of independent advisors, as it currently stands, is not sufficient. The status quo will not stand, and now is the time to take action on a solution.”
Amen—and on to the next five years.
Read more about the rest of the IA 25.
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