Advisor Group on Tuesday unveiled platform enhancements to create competitive advantages for its advisors in what it is calling the “Fiduciary Era.”
Key elements in the new platform strategy include continuing to support commission-based business with improved pricing on its brokerage platform and enhancing the market-leading advisory platform by reducing fees and charges. The new strategy also includes a new advisory product and a new platform for commission accounts.
The platform changes are designed to offer Advisor Group’s advisors an advantage regardless of whether the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule lives, dies or gets altered significantly.
Advisor Group is one of the nation’s largest networks of independent financial advisory firms, comprising SagePoint Financial, FSC Securities Corp., Woodbury Financial and Royal Alliance, with more than 5,000 advisors and $160 billion under advisement on its platform.
“We are making a major investment in our advisors’ futures because we believe in their potential for growth when provided with the right platform, tools and pricing to serve the unique needs of all clients. We are squarely in their corner, standing behind them every step of the way,” Jamie Price, Advisor Group president & CEO, said in a statement. “This is an inflection point in our industry that provides us with an unprecedented opportunity to differentiate ourselves and help our advisors to do the same.”
The new advisory product, called the “Genesis Series”, will give clients access to institutional strategists such as Vanguard, American Funds and iShares at lower minimums powered by Envestnet PMC research.
In addition, the group is introducing a new mutual fund only, no-transaction fee platform for commission accounts eliminating IRA custody and transaction fees to allow advisors and clients to more easily consolidate household assets onto the brokerage platform.
To help support these new changes, Advisor Group is launching an educational program that will include a digital platform that will allow advisors to attend virtual conferences including events with live speakers, breakout sessions and peer-to-peer group discussions.These forums will be recorded, searchable and available online 24/7 on any device.
Additionally, the firm will be launching a dedicated DOL/regulatory hotline and Wikipedia-like microsite to give advisors access to real-time information and to ensure they are totally equipped to handle whatever changes ultimately get implemented.
On top of the online educational program, Advisor Group is kicking off a 19-city roadshow titled “The Future is Now” on Jan. 10 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Price along with Executive Chairwoman Valerie Brown and other executives will share the specifics of the platform strategy at these roadshows.
“Our job as a dedicated partner has always been to equip advisors with the products, technology and tools they need to meet their clients’ needs and grow their businesses,” Brown said in a statement. “We believe our platform enhancements not only offer benefits to advisors’ clients, but also give advisors a clear competitive edge.”
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