Scottsdale, Arizona–based Barton Spector Wealth Strategies has joined LPL Financial’s broker/dealer platform and Stratos Wealth Partners, an independent advisory firm on LPL’s hybrid RIA platform. As of last month, Barton Spector has served approximately $311 million in client brokerage and advisory assets. The two-person team of Sharon Barton and Jay Spector focuses on retirement planning. “As financial advisors, being able to offer a diverse range of products to our clients is of the utmost importance,” Barton said in a statement. “Continued business and culture changes were limiting our ability to support our clients. The implementation of the Department of Labor rule ultimately became the impetus for us to make the move to the independent model so we could have what we needed to operate our business successfully, and in the best interest of our clients. LPL’s scope and breadth of support, platforms and product access, technology, and practice-management resources made it the best choice for us to be able to continue to serve our clients with the service level they have come to expect."
The results of Fidelity’s 8th Annual “Plan Sponsor Attitudes Survey” show somewhat diminished satisfaction with advisors among plan sponsors. Satisfaction is still high at 65 percent, but lower than in recent years. By far the most valued advisor service was retirement-plan expertise. While there is broad satisfaction with advisors, only 39 percent of sponsors said their advisor was good at proving the value of his or her plan. Still, sponsors rely on advisors as they report record levels of action to improve plan structures and plan design changes. Over the last two years, for example, 43 percent added a lifecycle/target-date option, 36 percent replaced an underperforming fund and 23 percent added an index fund. Performance issues, fees and changed strategies are behind those shifts.
Two Chicago advisors who were overseeing roughly $400 million in client assets are headed to Raymond James. Rosa Ebling is joining from Robert W. Baird, where she managed about $193 million; and Jack Bayer from J.P. Morgan Securities, where he managed about $230 million. The two will be part of the Chicago office of Raymond James & Associates, the firm’s traditional employee broker/dealer. Both have been in the industry for decades.