With the Financial Services Institute preparing to open its first annual independent broker/dealer conference entirely under its own flag next week, the fledgling organization already has a new competitor: the Securities Industry Association, which has quietly announced an independent B/D show of its own this spring.
The SIA is generally regarded as the trade association for wirehouses and major regional brokerage firms. But Robert Gannon, a vice president with the SIA in New York, notes that the association has had an Independent Contactor Firms Committee since 1994. Until recently, the committee focused largely on lobbying Washington on the concerns of the 70 member firms that use independent reps. But the group has signed up several major independent broker/dealers lately, including Jefferson-Pilot and the ING Advisors Network. “This is one of the growing areas within the industry and the SIA’s membership,” says Gannon. “We felt that we needed to have more than a committee.”
Gannon expects the SIA’s Independent Firms Conference, to be held May 10 and 11 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to attract some 250 attendees. The conference program, which is online at www.sia.com/independent_firms/ features a program similar to that planned for the FSI’s meeting that runs from January 31 to February 2 in Orlando. Both will focus on business management, recruiting, regulation, and compliance, with appearances by industry CEOs and pundits. The FSI program is at www.financialservices.org.