April 24, 2013

IBD First Allied Taps TDAI’s Whitworth as Strategist for Business Consulting

Whitworth will help First Allied’s financial advisors meet growth and productivity objectives

Independent broker-dealer First Allied Securities has hired Richard Whitworth as managing director of the firm’s Business Consulting Group, the San Diego-based firm announced Monday.

Whitworth, who will report directly to National Sales Manager Matt McGinness, will provide the strategic and tactical framework for the group as it helps First Allied’s financial advisors meet their growth and productivity objectives.

Most recently, Whitworth, 36, was responsible for strategy and execution in TD Ameritrade Institutional’s practice management unit. He also held positions with LPL Financial in its Advisory Consulting Services and Business Consulting groups, where he worked with independent financial advisors nationwide. His expertise extends to marketing and business development, operations, technology, client service, risk management, succession planning and human capital management.

“With Mr. Whitworth we have recruited a proven, high-energy visionary,” said Adam Antoniades, First Allied’s president and CEO, in a statement. “He will focus on First Allied’s growth by developing a team that provides a simple means of connecting with all that First Allied has to offer with respect to resources to help advisors grow their business, products to help them develop wealth management solutions for clients, and sales support to help them get business done.”

Whitworth began his career in New York City performing international equity research at I/B/E/S International (now Thomson Reuters) and conducting asset allocation research with Morgan Stanley’s Private Wealth Management group.

“I’m delighted to join such a strong company and impressive management team that have the shared strategic vision to provide independent financial advisors with innovative solutions designed to help them drive sustainable business growth and enhance their client experience,” Whitworth said in a statement. “Together with my team, I look forward to creating effective tools and actionable strategies that will empower First Allied’s advisors to exceed their clients’ expectations as well as build long-term enterprise value.”

First Allied was named by Jonathan Henschen, owner of Minnesota-based recruiting firm Henschen & Associates, as one of five independent broker-dealers “that changed the game” in a March 26 AdvisorOne article.

It joined Commonwealth Financial Network, Raymond James Financial Services, Cambridge Investment Research and the Comprehensive Group on Henschen’s list by bringing something new to the indie BD channel and expanding its business model.

“By developing a [fee-based] platform consistently centered on a single target market (accredited investors and wealth management), First Allied has brought a focused approach to wealth management which makes them uniquely important,” Henschen wrote.

While First Allied’s program sales initiative has brought the firm a good deal of success, it also has created some obstacles, Henschen noted, with advisors who participate in the programs but have not followed the game plan or who fail to follow up with qualified prospects or lack the skills to consistently close sales.

“As a result, they have added actionable sales skills training to the wealth management training they provide in partnership with Cannon Financial Institute, both in the baseline Certified Wealth Strategist (CWS) certification training and the advanced Masters training curriculum,” Henschen wrote. “The focused approach has worked well for First Allied as they consistently rank in the top five for average production per rep, which currently falls around $375,000. The advisors who engage in their wealth management and development program surpassed the GDC and asset growth of their own advisors who did not by 66% (2008–2011).”

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Read 5 IBDs That Changed the Game on AdvisorOne.

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