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- Preventing and Dealing with Client Complaints Although the SEC has not provided specific guidance on how client complaints should be handled, a firms policies and procedures should provide clear direction how to do so, as neglecting complaints can exacerbate a bad situation.
Similar to a boost from LPL Financial in 2011 that significantly increased its numbers, the Financial Services Institute announced on Thursday that five independent broker-dealers have now made their advisors members of the advocacy organization.
The firms are G.A. Repple & Co. in Orlando, Fla.; International Assets Advisory in Orlando, Fla.; Prospera Financial Services in Dallas; Western International Securities in Pasadena, Calif.; and Williams Financial Group in Dallas. The advisors’ first-year memberships are offered free by the firms.
“Numbers and grassroots engagement matter on Capitol Hill and in the states,” Dale Brown (left), FSI’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “Regulators and lawmakers pay attention when constituents are engaged in the policymaking process. So our collective voice is getting stronger and more influential.
“The momentum our members are creating speaks loudly that every independent financial advisor should join the fight to protect their business by becoming an FSI member,” he added.
When asked for total membership numbers, FSI spokesman Chris Paulitz said the figure varies, as the organization is in the middle of its year-end licensing campaign.
“During our mass campaign renewal times, the numbers tend to fluctuate, so we are now around 35,000 financial advisors,"he told AdvisorOne. "Our firm membership is over 100. In the beginning of 2011, we had just 15,000 financial advisor members, so the momentum is tremendous."
David Stringer, president of Prospera Financial and Investment Advisor’s 2012 Broker-Dealer of the Year in the boutique BD category said, "At Prospera, we have sought out partners that support our efforts to bring independent advice and solutions to our advisors and clients. We highly value FSI's advocacy efforts with regulators and legislators on behalf of firms like ours."
“Given all the dramatic changes in the industry,” added Harry Sze, national sales manager of International Assets Advisory, “we believe it is crucial to have an advocate in Washington like FSI, who truly understands our segment of the market and how we differentiate ourselves from the other players.”