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HD Vest on Track to Add 620 Advisors in 2015

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Independent broker-dealer HD Vest says close to 1,000 advisors and about 700 other financial professionals attended its recent national conference, CONNECT2015, in Dallas. President George W. Bush addressed the group in the opening session.

“President Bush gave an apolitical speech about leadership,” said HD Vest President & CEO Roger Ochs, in an interview with ThinkAdvisor. “The advisors loved him. It was a great conference.”

Plus, the IBD is “having a great year” when it comes to adding advisors, Ochs says. “We have 620 new advisors as our goal in 2015 and are on track to meet it.”

There are about 220,000 tax professionals with their own offices nationwide. “It’s a wide-open market,” he explained.

(HD Vest has about 4,500 affiliated independent advisors with roughly $37 billion in client assets.)

Advisors who attended the conference had access to some 100 small-group breakout sessions on topics such as business growth and social media. In addition to Bush, they also heard from composer and conductor Eric Whitacre, Hartford Funds strategist John Diehl and Erik Wahl, a graffiti artist, best-selling author and entrepreneur.

At the event, HD Vest highlighted its V4 Client Experience platform, which features the 1040 Analyst client evaluation tool, 8 Wealth Management Issues program and VestVision, an investment planning tool.

“Tax issues are always on top of our mind,” Ochs explained. With the 1040 analyst, advisors can upload client tax data, identify key concepts and generate a report for discussion and tax-planning purposes, he adds.

As tax laws change and new concepts emerge, HD Vest adds them to the 1040 analyst, he notes. “We have ever-changing tax laws, so that keeps us in business. We make changes accordingly.”

Such platform updates and client meetings “happen proactively,” Ochs says, “and not with a rearview mirror.”

In late June, Ochs met with some HD Vest advisors in Rochester, New York. “They’re still excited about our national conference and are glad to move forward with us,” he said. “It was really a grand slam.”

— Check out How Tax-Savvy Advisors Can Tackle Obamacare Taxes on ThinkAdvisor.


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