Securities America Hybrid RIA Platform Adds Sales Director

Arbor Point plans to boost work for hybrid advisors, while a former Edward Jones rep shares how to navigate the tough road to independence

Securities America headquarters in La Vista, Neb. Securities America headquarters in La Vista, Neb.

Two groups affiliated with independent broker-dealer Securities America shared news Monday on how they expect to recruit both more hybrid advisors and wirehouse reps to their platforms.

Arbor Point Advisors — formed by Securities America and NorthStar Financial Services Group as a joint venture in July to support hybrid advisory firms — has hired Jeffrey Schmaltz as a regional sales director in Fort Worth, Texas.

“When hiring a business development professional, we strive to find someone who already understands the complexities associated with the independent advisory model,” said Curtis Reed, president of Arbor Point Advisors, in a press release. "Jeff’s years of experience working with large, complex advisory firms, and being an advisor himself, make him the perfect addition to our team. His leadership and insight into the ever-changing investment advisory landscape has helped hundreds of firms grow, compete and succeed.”

Schmaltz began work in the financial services industry in 1986 as a Fidelity Investments representative in Dallas. He was with Bear Stearns from 1989 to 1995, when he returned to Fidelity Investments. He joined the institutional division of Fidelity in 2001 and became responsible for developing new business relationships with advisors in transition, RIAs, family offices, broker-dealers, financial planners and consulting firms.

Securities America, which is owned by Ladenburg Thalmann (LTS) and has about 1,700 affiliated reps, says Arbor Point’s platform allows hybrid advisory firms “to better serve fee-based clients directly with major custodians such as TD Ameritrade, Schwab and Fidelity Institutional, while retaining the ability to seamlessly service their commission-based accounts.”

When Securities America announced the formation of Arbor Point, Reed said that RIAs with $50 million to $250 million in client assets can have trouble keeping their overhead costs under control.

“For every advisor with $1 billion in assets looking to form or join an RIA, there are hundreds of firms with $100 million who need the same support to serve their clients,” he explained in a press release. “We’re not an RIA consolidator. We’re a support platform — an RIA ‘easy button,’ so to speak — for independent advisors who want the freedom to choose a custodial firm and serve their clients the way they want.”

Both Securities America and Arbor Point are based in La Vista, Neb.

New Partnership

Meanhile, John C. Lindsey, an advisor affiliated with Securities America in Thousand Oaks, Calif., has launched a website to share information and support for wirehouse reps thinking about going independent. TheBoldAdvisor.com includes details on Lindsey’s move to independence from Edward Jones.

“I have been getting calls and emails from advisors all over the country who are emboldened by my story, but who have struggled to move the ball forward and make their own transition to independence,” Lindsey said. “With the Bold Advisor website, I hope to give wirehouse advisors some of the tools and support they will need during this move. This process can be extremely stressful and many advisors don’t know where to begin the journey.”

Two court rulings that went Lindsey’s way “make it clear that advisors are free to service clients who wish to follow them from the wirehouse," he says on his bio page. "Bottom line, firms can do nothing to stop clients from working with the advisor of their own choice.”

After 16 years with Edward Jones, Lindsey partnered with Securities America branch office Cooper McManus in April 2012. Cooper McManus is an SEC-registered investment advisory firm with more than 40 advisors.

“Going from the captive environment to the independent model can be overwhelming, and the transition can cause a lot of frustrations for the advisor,” said Arthur Cooper, managing director of Cooper McManus, in a statement.

“When advisors make the move to the independent world, they realize they are facing a significant learning curve — not just by having to master a new operating system, but also because they are now responsible for every small detail of keeping an office up and running that used to be handled for them,” Cooper added.

Lindsey, a CFP, had $100 million under management when he joined Cooper McManus in April 2012. He currently has $120 million in client AUM.

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