Pershing announced Wednesday afternoon that Lori Hardwick will be leaving her position as chief operating officer at the firm this week, after only 11 months as the No. 2 executive at the Jersey City, New Jersey-based firm, part of the Bank of New York Mellon.
Hardwick was named COO effective Feb. 29, 2016, succeeding in that position 26-year Pershing veteran Lisa Dolly, who was named CEO two weeks earlier, succeeding the retiring Ron DeCicco.
Hardwick came to Pershing from Envestnet Inc., which she joined in 2000 and at which she held a variety of positions, the last being as group president of advisory services. Upon her hiring, Dolly said in a statement that Hardwick “brings many years of investment, technology and advisory expertise to Pershing and will help us deliver solutions which empower clients and improve the advisor and investor experience.”
Longevity is common among top Pershing executives, with many spending decades at the firm, though Pershing has also named outside executives to key posts serving advisors, most notably Mark Tibergien.
Pershing spokesman Paul Patella said the company was taking steps to replace Hardwick in the COO position.
In an interview last week during the Financial Services Institute’s OneVoice conference, Hardwick said Envestnet and Pershing had “lots of overlapping clients” and while the “issues were different, the people were the same.”
Among those issues she was addressing at Pershing was delivering “more value than they expect” from the clearing and custody firm, helped by what she called a “major cultural shift to integrate third-party providers” to Pershing clients on its NetX360 platform, though she was quick to add “not just in technology.”
Perhaps the biggest issue was dealing with the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, Hardwick said, which she called a “kick in the pants” to the industry, forcing advisors and their broker-dealer partners to more clearly define the value they offer clients. In the interview she lauded Pershing’s efforts to help advisors and broker-dealers adapt to the DOL rule, saying Pershing has “built by far the most comprehensive, end-to-end DOL solution” in the industry.
She noted the continuing consolidation in the broker-dealer space — “500 broker-dealers have gone away in the last five years” — but also argued that the “entire industry is at an inflection point on fees,” and as they “compress, something’s got to give.”
Hardwick was named to Investment Advisor’s IA 25 list of the most influential people in the industry in 2016, in which we called her “Pershing’s Advisor Advocate.”
In an interview for the May 2016 issue, she said that with the industry “changing so fast and having so many different constituents across the advisor landscape,” she said, it’s important for leaders to understand that “every client’s important,” and that their role is to help each client build “their own practice their own way.”
— Check out Robo Clearing Firm Apex Taps Envestnet’s Fiske to Head Retail Ops on ThinkAdvisor.