As the markets continue along a bumpy path this fall, a number of broker-dealers are hitting potholes.
That’s good news for the AIG Advisor Group of independent broker-dealers, its executives say, as they gather in San Antonio on Monday for their national educational conference, ConnectED 2015.
“This is our best recruiting year in seven years,” said Jeff Auld, head of SagePoint Financial, one of the group’s BDs, during a roundtable interview with ThinkAdvisor. “We are an island of stability, more than at any other time than I’ve been with the organization.”
While the AIG name became a bit of liability during the financial crisis, this is no longer the case. Now, some rivals – both big and small – are facing the heat.
“There’s a cloud of uncertainty about where some of our competitors are going and who they are going to be owned by,” Auld explained, without naming any names but alluding to the BDs being hurt by falling stock prices, regulatory woes and the like.
Last week, for instance, an active investment manager took a stake in LPL Financial (LPLA), which was hit by new fines from regulators; on Monday, shares of Cetera Financial Group’s parent firm, RSC Capital (RCAP), dipped below $1.
Only a year ago, there was talk that RCS Capital was mulling the acquisition of the AIG Advisor Group, which includes about 6,000 affiliated reps — roughly 2,000 of whom are at this week’s conference in Texas.
“AIG has been around for 28 years,” Auld added, underlining the confidence management and advisors felt today. “And it really differentiates us from some other firms.”
This has been an important factor in the group’s recruiting momentum, says AIG Advisor Group President & CEO Erica McGinnis. “Our recruiting success really is about our status as, what Jeff called, as an island of stability.”
Providing stability is important, according to Rick Fergesen, head of Woodbury Financial Services. “We take on this role as a broker-dealer for the financial advisor, who has this role for the client. We serve to help with the unpredictability as advisors do thing like build financial plans … ”
(Other IBDs in the AIG Advisor Group are Royal Alliance Associates, led by Dmitry Goldin, and FSC Securities, headed by Jerry Murphy.)