While the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule dominated the conversation in the financial advisory space this year, advisors are not focused on it heading into 2018, according to a recent survey from SEI Advisor Network. The rule did not make the top 10 list of advisors’ New Year’s resolutions, while last year, 40 percent of advisors indicated that their top priority was to prepare to comply with the rule. According to the survey of about 400 advisors, the top New Year’s resolution is to become more referable and increase client referrals, followed by the desire to increase client awareness of additional services. “Financial advisors’ top New Year’s resolutions point to growth, as they typically do, but this year shows a difference in how advisors are looking to grow,” said John Anderson, managing director and head of practice management services for the SEI Advisor Network. “Advisors want to increase their referability, but they are not sure exactly how to do it.”
A new web app ranks U.S. firms, counties and states on financial advisor misconduct. The app, eganmatvosseru.com, provides free data and analysis on the financial advisory industry, including advisor misconduct. Using public records on employment and disclosure history, the site provides data on 462,000 advisors from 2005 to 2015. Created by Amit Seru of Stanford University, Mark Egan of Harvard University and Gregor Matvos of the University of Texas, the website is an offshoot of a paper written by the trio for the University of Chicago Booth School of Business Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State in February 2016. The paper found that 7 percent of advisors have records of misconduct, a third are repeat offenders and 44 percent of offenders were able to find new jobs in the same industry within a year.
Three wealth management firms advising on a total of $550 million in client assets have joined Woodbury Financial Services, an RIA supported by Advisor Group with more than 1,200 affiliated independent advisors. The Dallas-based Martin Group, Missouri-based Evans and Steele Financial and Michigan-based Platinum Wealth Management Group are the three joining Woodbury. The recruited firms mark nearly 200 advisors who have joined Woodbury and 547 who have joined Advisor Group in 2017.