The cavalry is coming.
The announcement on Friday of three new directors to FSI’s board is no doubt welcome relief for some, as it’s accompanied by a corresponding announcement of a “strengthened focus” on the small and mid-size broker-dealer space. For a sector of the industry under regulatory and financial fire, with some questioning the ability of smaller broker-dealers to survive, the attention couldn’t come soon enough.
While FSI is quick to note “it continues to represent all independent financial services firms and independent financial advisors in Washington, D.C., and the states,” four of its 16 directors now come from small and mid-size firms and another four are independent financial advisors.
The three new members of the FSI Board of Directors are:
- David Stringer, President, Prospera Financial Services, Dallas
- Stephen Chipman, President and CEO, Foothill Securities, Mountain View, Calif.
- Dick Lampen, President and CEO, Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services, Miami
“We want our board to reflect the diversity of our membership,” Dale Brown, president and CEO of FSI, told AdvisorOne. “Over its nine-year history, we’ve had a board of leaders; some that are widely known throughout the industry, and others that are known by what they do with their firms.”
As to whether it will be business as usual or a new direction for the board, Brown says it will be neither.
“We won’t have any dramatic changes in direction,” he adds. “We are at the mid-point of a five-year plan we undertook to ensure we are the most effective organization we can be in representing the views of our members in Washington. We will continue to execute on that plan, but make tweaks and adjustments as necessary.”
Because of its size, the small, independent broker-dealer industry was disproportionately affected by recent regulatory actions in the wake of scandal, most notably involving the selling of products from Medical Capital and Provident Royalty, which proved unsuitable for many investors and we’re the subject of SEC enforcement actions, fines and class action lawsuits beginning in 2009. This combined with increased costs associated with compliance and ongoing fee compression has caused a number of smaller firms to close their doors.
In addition to the new Directors, FSI also elected R. Lawrence (Larry) Roth, CEO of Advisor Group, as the new Chairman of the Board. Mike Mungenast, CEO and President of ProEquities, was elected Vice Chairman. He will serve a one-year term and then be in line to become Chairman in 2014.
Continuing on the Board: Joseph Russo (financial advisor & Immediate Past Chairman); Tim Murphy, Investors Capital (Finance Chairman); Valerie Brown, Cetera (PAC Chairman); Bill Dwyer, LPL Financial; Adam Antoniades, First Allied; Rick Carlson (financial advisor); Dean Harman (financial advisor); Jim Herrington (financial advisor); Jim Livingston, National Planning Holdings; John Moloney, Moloney Securities Asset Management; and Clive Slovin, The Strategic Financial Alliance.