Shareholders Service Group started providing services to RIAs nearly 10 years ago, and in that time has grown to where it can now count almost 1,000 advisors in its independent fold. On Wednesday in San Diego, SSG’s leadership kicked off its first ever national conference with an opening speech by President and CEO Peter Mangan that focused on trust. Noting that “trillions of dollars” were lost during the financial crisis of 2008-2009, Mangan said that something even more valuable was lost: trust.
While he pointed out that since the crisis ended in early 2009 the Dow has risen more than 100% over the ensuing three years, “it hasn’t been an enjoyable ride.” Investors, Mangan (left) said, no longer trust the markets or institutions like the big banks or wirehouses, and “the regulators don’t trust anyone.”
A big part of that loss of trust could be attributed to Bernie Madoff, who prior to his fall was considered a “prince and a genius,” but turned out to be “a crook and a fraud.” By contrast, “in a system with trust, there’s an ease to relationships,” and while investors no longer trust the big institutions, “they haven’t lost trust in the people around them.” Those people include SSG advisors, he suggested, who live by a fiduciary standard as RIAs. “The fiduciary standard,” he argued, “is supposed to show investors who they can trust.”