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Great Plains Financial Group Joins Securities America

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Securities America announced Thursday that Great Plains Financial Group has joined the La Vista, Neb.-based broker-dealer. Great Plains, which has $3.8 million in annual revenue and $350 million in assets under management, was founded in October 2002 and has 11 advisors. The firm has its main office in Fargo, N.D., with an additional office in Grand Forks, N.D.

Mike Bindas, a founding partner of Great Plains Financial Group, said the group chose Securities America because of the assistance and improvement the broker-dealer can provide with advisory programs, recruitment and future growth initiatives.

Mike Bindas, Great Plains Financial Group“We wanted to partner with a large, stable firm with strong technology resources and a culture that was a good fit for us,” Bindas (left) said. “A key consideration was whether the new affiliation could and would add to our value proposition, and Securities America certainly met that requirement.”

Great Plains’ 11 advisors–Mike Bindas, Tom Halstenson, Eric Hustad, Chris Birmingham, Ray Morgan, Jon Halstenson, Chris Siverson, Patrick McIntyre, Mark Teigen, Mark Schadewald and Ryland Syverson–officially began business with Securities America on Feb. 17.

“We are extremely pleased that Great Plains Financial Group chose to become a part of the Securities America family,” said Gregg Johnson, senior vice president of branch office development and acquisitions. “We are working closely with them to ensure a smooth transition and to provide them with our extensive technology and practice management resources.”

Despite a stressful 2011, both firms are optimistic about the partnership.

Great Plains was already in conversations with Securities America when news broke of the Provident Royalties and Med Cap holdings issues, Bindas says, adding that Securities America kept his firm informed throughout the process. “We were really impressed how they worked through it. We’re excited about the acquisition with Ladenburg and really have no issues with it,” Bindas told AdvisorOne on Friday.

Gregg Johnson, Securities America“In our discussions when engaging with Mike and Tom [Halstenson] and the rest at Great Plains and why we’re so optimistic about 2012 is we’ve kept the senior management and executive management in the company in place from 2009-2010,” Johnson (left) told AdvisorOne. “There really is no change structurally to the products, services, personnel, management or culture and we’ve added a strong parent in Ladenburg Thalmann that brings even more to the table. We’re optimistic about 2012 because we have things in place that our advisors liked that led to record recruiting years and growth from 2009 and early 2010 and we’ve even added to that recipe.”

Looking ahead, Bindas is optimistic about growth opportunities in the coming year.

“One of the biggest things we look to them for is recruiting,” he says. “We’re an independent office and the opportunities with some of the breakaways from the wirehouses, SA gives us the opportunity to go after them aggressively.”

“We’re excited about the partnership because of the caliber of practice and business that they run. It gives us an additional strong presence in the Upper Midwest,” Johnson says. “We like the idea that they want to continue to grow in both ways that we help advisors grow: through growing their own practices, acquiring more clients and growing their business, and also growing by bringing on other advisors, which we’re excited to help them with.”