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Raymond James Financial ranked highest in employee advisor satisfaction among financial investment firms in a tie with Edward Jones, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Financial Advisor Satisfaction study released in late September, which measures overall satisfaction of financial advisors on eight key factors that drive satisfaction. In order of importance they are: firm performance; compensation; administrative and compliance support; internal operational support/people; job duties; products and offerings; problem resolution; and work environment. The study is based on 3,124 total responses from advisors at 19 investment firms…

Fidelity’s National Financial has expanded its alliance program with the addition of San Francisco-based Success Metrics. Through the new relationship, broker/dealer clients have access to tools meant to help them increase assets and revenue by identifying new sales opportunities for their individual brokers. The tool recommends specific actions brokers can take to acquire new assets by examining patterns and modeling activities and then applying the most successful approaches to their own books of business. The broker can then see how this compares to his/her clients to identify and implement potential cross sell opportunities. In addition to Success Metrics, broker/dealer clients also have access to National Financial’s alliance firm PriceMetrix. Announced earlier this year, PriceMetrix delivers a combination of business intelligence reports, practice management tools, and services designed to enable financial advisors to “proactively identify and close opportunities that generate revenue and enhance book value.” …

ING’s broker/dealers announced that they are “significantly lowering” ticket charges (fees on trades) for their financial representatives and advisors on an selection of transactions, a reduction intended to make the cost a representative or advisor pays to execute a securities transaction among the lowest in the industry. The charge reduction goes into effect for trades settled on or after October 1, 2008. For advisors, the ticket charge changes will result in lower costs–ranging from 10% to 25%–in every transaction category. ING also is lowering the charge on exchange-traded funds. For retail trades, there will be an overall reduction in almost every price category. For example, listed equities and load mutual fund charges were reduced by almost 10%…

The SEC has selected Amy Edwards as assistant chief economist for markets and intermediaries in the agency’s Office of Economic Analysis. Edwards joined the SEC staff in 1997 as a financial economist. In her new capacity, she will lead a group that provides economic analysis and support for the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, Division of Trading and Markets, and Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations. Her promotion to Assistant Chief Economist is effective in October.–Melanie Waddell


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