From the July 2013 issue of Research Magazine • Subscribe!

Broker-Dealers Adjust Leadership Ranks

LPL Financial said recently that Michelle Oroschakoff, formerly global risk officer at Morgan Stanley, has been appointed chief risk officer and managing director for the independent broker-dealer. Oroschakoff, who will be based in San Diego and report to LPL CEO Mark Casady, is now responsible for firm-wide risk management processes and controls, including regulatory compliance, data security and privacy and other critical risk management functions, as well as working closely with the firm’s regulators.

“We are delighted to welcome Michelle Oroschakoff to our firm,” said Casady in a statement.

Oroschakoff joins LPL, which has about 13,400 affiliated reps, from Morgan Stanley, which has some 16,300 employee FAs. At Morgan Stanley, she was most recently the global chief risk officer of the wealth management division and prior to that, chief compliance officer for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Before serving in these roles, she was the general counsel for Fisher Investments, an independent RIA. Earlier, she spent 11 years in a number of senior legal and compliance roles at Morgan Stanley, including as associate general counsel and head of the firm’s San Francisco litigation department.

Commonwealth Shifts

Also in June, Commonwealth Financial Network named Rich Hunter as the independent broker-dealer’s new president and chief operating officer; Hunter has been and will continue to serve as Commonwealth’s chief financial officer.

Peter Wheeler, who served as president of the privately owned firm since 1992, is now vice chairman. He will retain oversight of legal and compliance operations for the IBD, which has roughly 1,450 affiliated independent advisors, while focusing on long-term management issues and strategic planning.

“Peter has been a strong force in the growth and success of Commonwealth over the years, and I am extremely grateful that his new role will grant him the ability to continue to touch all areas of the business …,” said Wayne Bloom, CEO of Commonwealth, in a press release. “Peter has been, and will continue to be, an essential component to Commonwealth’s success.”

Founded in 1979 in Waltham, Mass., Commonwealth has about 1,450 advisors. It was the third-ranking IBD as measured by revenue in the Investment Advisor’s 2013 Broker-Dealer Reference Guide.

“I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this [new] role than Rich,” Bloom said. “His advisor-centric approach to indispensable service, combined with his deep understanding of the independent advisory marketplace, makes him uniquely qualified for this role [as president, COO and CFO].”

The news of the executive shifts comes on the heels of the IBD’s announcement that it now offers five affiliation models for advisors, including corporate RIA and RIA-only affiliations. Other affiliations are those of a traditional representative, a dual-registered rep and a hybrid-rep model.

In May, Commonwealth also added the position of senior vice president to its ranks, promoting seven individuals to this position within their respective departments. “This realignment is another step toward a stronger core and more successful future for our firm,” Bloom said, “and these changes will provide the structure to better position ourselves as a premier independent broker-dealer—RIA to financial advisors.”

Royal Alliance

Royal Alliance said in early July that Art Tambaro, the firm’s president and CEO, would retire at the end of the year. Dmitry Goldin, a member of Royal’s senior leadership team for the last decade, will assume the role of president and CEO at that time.

Tambaro, 72, explained in an interview that he is “ready” to retire. “When I took over from the COO position in 2007, we had our best year ever. We then had the crisis, if you would call it that, and now in 2013 we’re on track to be even better than in 2007. So we’ve come full circle,” he shared.

Tambaro’s successor, Goldin, brings over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry to his role, the last 13 at Royal Alliance. He most recently served as senior vice president of business development. He joined Royal Alliance in 2000 as a regional manager and was promoted to a senior management role in 2003. He assumed the business-development role in 2009.

“I’m not concerned about the length of the transition, as it’s really been in place for quite some time,” Goldin said. “I’ve worked and traveled with and know him well. That transition has to be in place, and it has to be smooth and seamless, in order to ensure high retention each year, which stands at 97%.”

Tambaro said Goldin’s biggest challenge in assuming the role will be to continue to relate the firm’s message and value position to advisors, specifically surrounding its open architecture and technology, which both men say is a competitive differentiator. Tambaro added that continuing to “raise the bar” with the firm’s performance will also be an ongoing challenge.

Jeff Planty, vice president of operations, will assume the role of senior vice president of business development. The firm says “he will work closely with Goldin to further enhance Royal’s services and support to advisors,” who number close to 2,000.

In other news, independent broker-dealer First Allied Securities of San Diego said it has tapped Marissa Fox-Foley to become senior managing director of marketing. The veteran marketing executive—who was with LPL Financial from 2008 to 2012—now reports to Robert Holcomb, president of First Allied Wealth Management. She will have oversight of all marketing and brand communications functions at the firm.

John Sullivan and Melanie Waddell contributed to this report.

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