The Financial Planning Association has lamented, along with many of its members, the absence of a specific lobbying organization for independent broker/dealers. The FPA is now trying to do something about it.
The Atlanta-based trade group has begun forming a lobbying organization, and it hopes to see it open for business by 2004. The FPA emphasized that while it aims to shepherd the creation of the new organization, it does not aspire to have any direct ownership or control over it after its launch.
"It’s clear that independent broker/dealers need an advocacy group," says FPA president David Yeske. "Broker/dealers have been buried under an avalanche of new regulations. We wanted to help them get the kind of representation they so desperately need, so that their concerns are heard."
Yeske says that the FPA’s staff members have been approached to lobby for independents in the past, but they "just weren’t able to deliver."
Tony Batman, chair of the FPA’s Broker/Dealer Advisory Council, is spearheading the formation of the new lobbying group. Yeske says the FPA has already formed a steering committee for the new organization, which will have its staffing and funding needs met by the FPA during the transition. ("There will be some negative financial impact to the FPA," Yeske admits.)
But he emphasizes that once the organization, which will have its own advisory council made up of representatives from various firms, gets up and moving, it will be on its own, without the FPA’s influence.
Yeske says creating a stand-alone group is the smart way to meet the independents’ need for a lobbying presence.
"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."