Continuing its drive toward individual financial advisor membership, the Financial Services Institute announced Friday that more than 700 advisors will become members of the independent broker-dealer association, thanks to the contributions of two BDs.
Berthel Fisher & Co., the IBD based in Marion, Iowa, will pay the dues for all 385 of its representatives, while WRP Investments, based in Youngstown, Ohio, will subsidize FSI membership for a year for its 350 reps. (WRP was voted an Investment Advisor Broker-Dealer of the Year by its reps for this year.)
According to FSI, those broker-dealers that subsidize rep membership for a year, with subsequent membership the advisor’s own responsibility, receive a steeply discounted rate of $99/year for bringing in those members. BDs that sign up their reps, who must specifically opt out of membership if they do not wish to join, also receive the $99/year rate.
As for other membership rates, FSI said they were:
- $129/year: for advisors whose BD is part of FSI’s opt-in campaign, and for advisors whose BD is an FSI member but is not participating in any of FSI’s various membership campaigns (fully subsidized, opt-out or opt-in)
- $199/year: for advisors who join on their own and their BD is not a member
With the addition of those 735 advisor members, FSI now has 35,000 individual advisor members and more than 100 broker-dealer members. FA membership growth has been an avowed goal for FSI and its leadership, including President and CEO Dale Brown (left) and Chris Paulitz, senior vice president in charge of membership and marketing.
During its annual FSI OneVoice conference for home office executives in January, Brown said FSI’s goal was to build a “healthier, more business-friendly environment” in Washington by leveraging its advisor members as “citizen lobbyists.”
During a media briefing at the FSI conference in January, the advocacy group reported that 53 member firms have partly or fully subsidized membership for their advisors. Twenty firms fully subsidize their advisors’ membership, while another 33 firms “facilitate” their advisors’ membership by deducting their membership fees through their commissions.
In a statement about WRP and Berthel Fisher providing “complementary” membership to its reps, Brown said, “Regulators and lawmakers pay attention when constituents are engaged in the policymaking process. So our collective voice is getting stronger and more influential. Our members are choosing to say ‘Yes We Will’ reform regulation through education and representation.”
As another sign of its growth strategy for individual advisor membership, FSI is holding its first-ever advisor-focused conference this September in Washington. The Financial Advisor Summit will be held Sept. 9-11 at the Washington Hilton.