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.
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The two new board members include: