The volume of new regulations targeting the securities industry has left reps feeling a bit picked upon — particularly independents, who have no real organized way to have their voice heard in the legislative process.
The Financial Planning Association is trying to fix this problem. The group, along with its broker/dealer advisory council, has announced plans to form an organization to address the regulatory concerns of independent contractor broker/dealers, primarily in a lobbying organization.
The goal is to have the organization, which will exist separately from the FPA, in place by 2004. The FPA says it wants to quarterback its creation, but then let it stand and operate on its own.
The Securities Industry Association currently acts as the securities industry's regulatory advocate, but its lobbying efforts are general in nature and do not specifically get at issues most important to independents.
“It's clear that independent broker/dealers need an advocacy group,” says FPA president David Yeske. “We wanted to help them get the kind of representation they so desperately need, so that their concerns are heard.”
Yeske says the FPA had been approached to fill that lobbying void, but it wasn't able to deliver. “We want to help them get what they need,” he says.
Some brokers are skeptical of such an organization's effectiveness. “I would say having someone to fight off all this legislation would be nice, but maybe a whistle too late,” one rep affiliated with Raymond James says. “We're stacked under it all already.”
Yeske says that once the organization, which will have an advisory council made up of representatives from various firms, gets up and moving, it will be on its own, free of the FPA's influence.
Yeske emphasizes that the FPA is creating the organization for one primary reason: need.
“Broker/dealers have had a reasonable expectation for something like this, and they've probably needed one for a while,” he says. “Someone needs to be fiercely on their side, and if we can't do it, we'll help set up something that can.”