Many investors don’t know what the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s BrokerCheck website is, but that’s about to change. FINRA launched a national ad campaign Monday to bring more awareness to the site, where investors can access information on their broker’s employment history, certifications and licenses and regulatory actions, violations or complaints. The ads, which will run online, in print and on TV, stress that you wouldn’t do certain things without checking first. One TV spot says: “You wouldn’t haul a load without checking your clearance,” while a trucker’s load gets destroyed going under a low bridge. “So why would you invest without checking BrokerCheck?” The 15-second TV spots will run for five weeks on cable channels, FINRA says.
Just because employees in the finance and insurance industries have job stability and strong salaries, it doesn’t mean they are happy. According to a recent TinyPulse survey of 3,000 employees at nearly 60 organizations, finance/insurance ranks eighth in happiness, coming in behind media and entertainment but ahead of education. The research noted that 22 percent of employees in the finance sector said they were truly happy at work, and barely 50 percent are satisfied with their peers or colleagues. Only a small percentage – one-fifth – felt that they were highly valued in their positions. According to the rankings, construction and facilities services have the happiest employees.
Studies show that higher performing firms are more likely to have an online presence, but advisors need to do more than just put up a website. The key to a successful website is an engagement and consistent updates. According Mike Byrnes, president of a Boston-based consultancy, advisors should start by registering with free services like Google My Business, Bing Places for Business and Yahoo! Local to make sure the firm appears on local search results and maps. Byrnes said advisors should dedicate a webpage each service offered, feature lots of written content on the homepage, and include a lot of links to other organizations. Rick Kahler, an advisor in South Dakota, found said a focus on “Search Engine Optimization” doubled his web traffic and, consequently, his assets under management.
LPL Financial has tapped E*Trade’s Chief Financial Officer Matthew Audette to replace Dan Arnold as CFO. Arnold was named president in early March, after Robert Moore stepped down from the role. Moore joined institutional asset manager Legal & General Investment Management America as CEO. Audette, who will report to Chairman and CEO Mark Casady, starts Sept. 28. He’s been at E*Trade for 16 years.
Raymond James Financial has announced it acquired The Producers Choice, a private insurance and annuity marketing firm. The company, based in Troy, Mich., will retain all 60 of its employees and be rebranded as part of the Raymond James Insurance Group. “We have worked with Producers Choice for almost a decade and recognize its high operating standards and commitment to client service,” said Raymond James CEO Paul Reilly.