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Financial Services Institute Elects Joseph Russo as Vice Chair of Board of Directors

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The Financial Services Institute (FSI), an advocacy organization for independent broker-dealers, announced Monday that its board of directors elected Joseph Russo as vice chair of the organization. In addition, the board of directors elected two new members to begin serving Jan. 1, 2011.

“This is the first time in FSI’s history that a financial advisor has been elected vice chair,” said Bill Dwyer, 2011 chair of the FSI board and president of national sales and marketing for LPL Financial, said in a statement. “This event clearly demonstrates FSI’s unswerving commitment to independent broker-dealer firms and the independent financial advisors affiliated with those firms.”

According to FSI, Russo has over 30 years of experience in financial services. He began his securities career as a registered representative at United Financial Services and then with Merrill Lynch. Russo founded Perpetual Investment Advisors and served as CEO until a sale to AEGON, USA Securities. Subsequently, he founded Advantage Financial Group (AFG). AFG is affiliated with National Planning Corporation and is the company’s premier OSJ managing over $2 billion of client assets with a total of 54 branch offices.

Russo maintains his investment advisory practice in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and his securities brokerage business in Naples, Fla., while serving as chairman and CEO of AFG. Russo is licensed as a General Securities Principal, Municipal Bond Principal, Options Principal and Registered Investment Advisor Representative.

The two new board members include:

Clive Slovin is president and CEO of The Strategic Financial Alliance Inc (SFA). Licensed in all 50 states, SFA provides broker-dealer, RIA and insurance-related services to its independent financial advisors and their clients across the country. The firm is co-owned by its management, employees, financial advisors and independent investors. Prior to starting SFA, Slovin served as president of Investors Financial Group (IFG) and CFO of Financial Service Corp. (FSC). He began his career as a Chartered Accountant and CPA with the international accounting firm of Deloitte, having worked in their South African and Atlanta, Ga offices.

Jim Herringtonis chairman of the Financial Services Network (FSN). FSN has 175 full-time independent contractor financial representatives in 45 communities in 16 states. In addition, Herrington is principal and CEO of Strategic Wealth Advisor Group, an SEC-registered investment adviser. He served on the board of directors for Financial Service Corporation (FSC Securities) and the board of trustees for the Foundation for Financial Planning.

“We have a solid group of volunteer leaders in place to lead us in 2011,” said Dale Brown, CAE, president and CEO. “I’m grateful to those board members departing us, including Eric Schwartz and Dan Anderson.”

Members of the 16-person FSI board of directors are elected annually for one-year terms which are renewable up to four consecutive years.


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