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Advisor Group Rolls Out Next-Gen, Business Growth Programs

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What You Need to Know

  • The Next Gen program was initially piloted at Advisor Group subsidiary Securities America.
  • The Better Together program was initially launched as a six-part webinar series to help advisors.
  • Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management CEO Philip Blancato was named chief market strategist for all of Advisor Group.

During Advisor Group’s Wealth Management Symposium on Thursday, the firm announced the rollout of its Next Gen and Better Together programs across the organization.

Next Gen “builds upon the success” of the program that was initially piloted at Advisor Group subsidiary Securities America, Advisor Group said. It “brings experienced financial advisors and Advisor Group leadership together with younger professionals to identify specific strengths to emphasize, areas for further development, and opportunities to grow through strategic partnerships and mentorships,” the company noted.

Better Together, meanwhile, was initially launched as a six-part webinar series to assist financial advisors in enhancing their efficiency and “identify new growth strategies by leveraging resources now available across the full enterprise,” including the Retirement Income Planning team and Business Coaching and Consulting, Advisor Group said.

Each Better Together webinar features different financial advisors explaining their real-world experiences working with the National Sales & Consulting team and its positive impact on their businesses.

New Role for a Ladenburg Exec

The firm also announced at its virtual event that Philip Blancato was named chief market strategist for all of Advisor Group, in addition to serving as president and CEO of Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management, a role he has held since 2004. Advisor Group finalized its acquisition of rival Ladenburg in February 2020, three months after announcing plans for the deal.

In his new role, Blancato will provide advisors across the company’s network with “insight and visibility into the key trends that are shaping the markets and which will impact their clients and portfolio management strategies in the months ahead,” according to Advisor Group. He will also provide additional client-approved resources for advisors to leverage.

“Today’s wealth management professionals are balancing an evolving regulatory environment, rising client expectations, and unpredictable markets,” according to Jamie Price, Advisor Group CEO and president.

The firm, therefore, is “investing strategically in the tools and platforms these professionals need to navigate these changes while expanding their advisory-focused relationships with clients,” he said.

The impact of Advisor Group’s support for advisors who act as fiduciaries to take a comprehensive approach to wealth management is reflected in the company’s recent results, it said.

In 2020, despite the sharp downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Advisor Group saw a 236% year-over-year increase in net new assets, with assets on the firm’s Wealth Management Platform (WMP) increasing 22%, it noted.

Of the net new assets on the WMP, 36% went to Advisor Group’s recently enhanced Unified Managed Account (UMA) platform. During the same period, assets held on the UMA platform soared 79% overall, while the number of accounts almost doubled, growing 94%, the firm said.

2 More Practices Join Advisor Group

Just ahead of the event, Advisor Group said it recruited two wealth management practices based in Pennsylvania that collectively oversee $323 million in total client assets to its network.

Both practices joined Advisor Group through its subsidiary and network member firm Triad Advisors for brokerage services. They will work with Triad Hybrid Solutions, one of Triad’s two corporate RIAs, to support their fee-based business.

GL Capital, founded in 1998, is a Lemoyne-based firm that oversees $175 million in client assets. Led by 22-year industry veteran Matthew Granite with support from Wayne Logue and Chip Thrush, the firm focuses on wealth management and retirement services for clients in the Harrisburg region.

Granite was previously registered as a broker with Ameriprise starting in 1998, according to his report on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s BrokerCheck website.

“As we mapped out our strategic plan to build upon our independent, ‘out-of-the-box’ approach to preserving and investing our clients’ assets, we realized it was time to seek out an affiliation partner with the boutique feel of a small firm along with the scale, technological sophistication, and resources to enhance our growth,” according to Granite.

“We found both in Triad and Advisor Group,” he said in the announcement. “Joining them gives us exactly what we need to expand our business and better serve our clients.”

Meanwhile, East Coast Advisory, based in West Chester, is led by Ed Campbell, a financial professional with more than 14 years of experience in the wealth management industry. He runs the firm with Ryan Gray, Christine Scott and Michael Cernek, and the four financial professionals collectively manage $148 million in client assets, Advisor Group said.

The practice, founded in 2006, specializes in retirement income services, investments and asset management, estate planning strategies, and insurance.

Campbell was previously registered as a broker with Commonwealth Financial Network, according to his report on BrokerCheck.

“The support of a firm like Triad, with its in-depth understanding of the hybrid RIA space, coupled with the technology and infrastructure Advisor Group provides, gives East Coast Advisory a clear path to significant future growth,” according to Campbell.

Advisor Group now serves some 11,100 financial advisors and oversees more than $450 billion in client assets.

Pictured: Jamie Price, Advisor Group President and CEO