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Advisor Group to Expand Ladenburg's Training Programs

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Exec headshot of Jamie Price of Advisor Group Advisor Group President & CEO Jamie Price

Advisor Group is looking to expand the coaching and consulting program that was started by Ladenburg Thalmann’s practice management team, Jamie Price, Advisor Group CEO and president, said Tuesday at his company’s ConnectED Canvas virtual conference.

Noting that Ladenburg — the parent company of Securities America — had an “exceptionally well-thought-of and long-tenured business coaching and consulting team” before the firms merged, he said that was an “important factor” in Advisor Group’s decision to acquire Ladenburg’s five broker-dealers in a $1.3 billion transaction that was finalized early this year.

The firm said in May that the BDs KMS Financial Services, Securities Service Network and Investacorp were set to become part of Securities America, the largest of the Ladenburg BDs, by year-end. RIA-focused Triad Advisors is remaining a standalone BD.

Those who have taken part in that program have seen significant asset and revenue growth, he said, adding: “This resource has been enhanced and we will be ultimately rolling [it out] across the entire advisor network.”

The Prepared Buyer and Prepared Seller programs that are rolling out include the “comprehensive training curricula pioneered” by Ladenburg’s practice management team, “along with extensive expert consulting support for aspiring buyers and sellers,” Advisor Group said in announcing its plan Tuesday.

Acquisition Funding

Advisor Group also announced a new Continuity Coverage & Acquisitions Program (CCAP), which the company said strengthens its support for affiliated financial professionals’ acquisition efforts by providing a dedicated pool of capital from Advisor Group’s balance sheet that qualified acquirors can use to acquire other practices both within and outside the Advisor Group network, “eliminating the need to source financing from a third party in many cases.”

The program will start in the first quarter of next year, with an initial pilot program of financial professionals, as part of a “carefully phased rollout plan that will expand access to the CCAP program for all financial professionals across the Advisor Group network throughout 2021,” it said.

The platform will offer loans at competitive interest rates, while offering financial professionals other major benefits, including cost savings on the origination and processing fees typically charged by third-party lenders.

On the continuity side, the program will allow affiliated advisors who do not have full continuity plans set up to opt into a continuity backstop program. Opting into the program will be free.

New Mentorship Program

Advisor Group also announced the launch of My Mentor Connect, a networking platform that it said enables financial professionals and members of their staffs to “seek out and match with peers across the Advisor Group network.”

My Mentor Connect “leverages technology to make it easy for financial professionals to find the ideal mentor or mentors and establish and build valuable mentoring relationships,” the company said. The platform can be used by early-career professionals to seek “guidance and insight in specific practice areas that will bolster their growth, as well as by more experienced financial professionals who are looking to give back and learn more about rising generations of investors, or even to identify potential succession planning partners,” it said.

The Economy and the Election

“While we are doing quite well” at Advisor Group and in the industry overall, “others are not,” Price said. While unemployment has surged and the country is divided as Election Day nears, the uncertainty “creates one more opportunity for conversation and engagement with clients,” he said.

He pointed out that “markets have performed very close to each other under both Democratic and Republican rule over the past 50 years,” but that election concerns provide another opportunity for advisors to engage with clients.

Advisor Group Trends

The firm’s Direct Choice mutual fund only brokerage platform has grown quickly and “we’ll be rolling that out to Triad Advisors and Securities America shortly,” Price said.

Advisor Group’s unified managed accounts platform, meanwhile, is up 52% in assets since launching late last year, he said, adding: “We’re working hard to bring all of these tools across Securities America and Triad as soon as possible.”

Providing one more piece of good news for advisors, Price said affiliation fees will not change in 2021.

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