Executives with the AIG Advisor Group of independent broker-dealers shared their views on growth and the advisor business during ConnectED 2015, a week-long event in San Antonio that attracted about 2,000 registered reps.
“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. “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 a 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.
“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 things like build financial plans …”