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With the 2014 Winter Olympic Games set to begin in Sochi, Russia in February, it brings to mind the rewards of excellence. Here in the broker-dealer business, we don’t aspire to gold medals; but, there are a number of other indicators we can point to that affirm we are hitting the mark.
Are successful financial advisors joining our ranks?
In 2013 over 400 independence-minded advisors joined our firms across the network, drawn by our award-winning technologies, stellar customer support and expansive product offerings. And, 2014 has all the makings of an outstanding recruiting year as well, as advisors looking to make a move are attracted by the individualized support and robust services available we make available.
Are our affiliated advisors happy with the level of service and support?
Right now, we enjoy an historically high advisor retention rate of 98% across our network. 2013 saw the introduction of Generation i, a broad-based initiative focusing on women as consumers and providers of financial services, the launch of a next-generation advisory platform, and a successful, ConnectED education conference in Las Vegas, which attracted over 1,300 attendees and featured over 125 educational sessions. Our Investment Research Team’s informed, objective due diligence guidance is just a phone call – or mouse click – away. What’s not to love?
Are we providing the support our affiliated advisors need to grow their businesses?
New, data-driven business analytics capabilities designed to help our advisors assess their practices are now available, and we are poised to roll out a new Retirement Plans Consulting Services team to assist our advisors with their qualified plan business. The Succession Planning resources advisors need to grow and transition their businesses are being expanded. Our Annuity Intelligence comparison tool helps our advisors quickly compare and contrast hundreds of investment options. And, our expanded Social Media support services can help our advisors engage their clients using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – no matter what their level of expertise is.
The year ahead is brimming with new opportunities to support our current advisors and welcome new ones to our network of independent broker-dealers. Learn more about what we offer by visiting the various pages of this website.
As we approach the end of the year, we would like to take a moment to look back on some highlights of 2013. Woodbury Financial's integration into the Advisor Group network of broker-dealers continued apace, with a number of successful milestones reached on schedule. Generation i, Advisor Group's community for independent women, was introduced at this year's Women's Conference in Chicago and continues to build momentum. Our state-of-the-art advisory platform, VISION2020 Wealth Management Platform, was upgraded to include mobility and a host of additional features. In addition, the platform's Model Strategist offering was expanded to include 5 model portfolios from Advisor Group Research. Our second annual ConnectED conference, which featured education and training sessions, keynote speakers, and top-class entertainment was a resounding success. Conference attendees extended a heartfelt farewell to outgoing Royal CEO and President Art Tambaro, and welcomed his successor Dmitry Goldin. Advisor Group also welcomed new CEO and President Erica McGinnis. While there have been challenges to overcome, we are grateful for the successes realized. Best wishes to you and your loved ones during the holiday season and here's looking forward to a happy, healthy and successful new year.
If you missed this year’s 2013 ConnectED Conference, you missed an event that one attendee called “the best educational conference I have ever attended.” This year’s event was Advisor Group network’s largest meeting to date, with more than 3,300 attendees from across the country.
The conference, held on October 6 – 10, brought together advisors and executives from Advisor Group’s four broker-dealers and featured over 130 educational breakout sessions, recognized speakers and valuable training opportunities to benefit advisors and clients. This year’s event focused on three themes – Vision, Insight and Success.
The event launched on Sunday night with a “Venetian Carnival” welcome party for all attendees from across the network, where advisors were able to network with their peers and spend time with Advisor Group Strategic Partners.
The conference’s opening General Session was hosted by Jay Wintrob. AIG President and CEO, Bob Benmosche shared his enthusiasm for the industry and the many opportunities for advisors to grow their business. Advisor Group’s recently appointed President & CEO, Erica McGinnis, also addressed attendees, citing her excitement to take on this new role at the firm and reiterating her commitment to making Advisor Group the premier network for today’s independent advisors. The keynote of the day was Former Secretary of State Dr. Robert Gates.
Day two’s General Session was hosted by Erica, and included keynote speakers Rana Foroohar, an economist and journalist with TIME magazine and CNN, and Dr. Michio Kaku, a world-renowned Theoretical Physicist. For day three’s General Session was hosted by David Ballard, COO of Advisor Group, and featured Marcus Buckingham, a motivational speaker and four time international best selling author.
The conference ended with a closing-night party headlined by the legendary Doobie Brothers.
We are proud to announce that Advisor Group has again earned a spot on the InformationWeek magazine list of top technology innovators! In addition to a spot on this 2013 list, the Firm was also acknowledged in both 2011 and 2012 as among the most innovative technology users.
Why the award this year? We enhanced our state-of-the-art Office Automation Suite to provide our advisors with an even more efficient means to submit documentation to the Home Office.
To increase advisor productivity, eliminate errors and simplify this documentation process, Advisor Group developed a customized solution to allow advisors to insert and modify client data from the firm’s system and automatically submit documents for processing – valuable time savings measures. The solution also allows advisors to save information from partially completed documents and bundle commonly used forms. Further, the solution is compatible with all mobile devices, allowing advisors to complete and access critically important client documents any time, anywhere.
Receiving awards for our efforts is gratifying. But, delivering technology solutions that advisors can use to build their practices and serve their clients is the best gauge of our success.
The Fourth of July was designated a national holiday in 1941; how Americans celebrate the Fourth of July may vary. What they celebrate – the freedoms that come with living in the US – remains unchanged.
Here at Royal Alliance, we celebrate "Independence" every day. No fireworks, though. We simply celebrate Independence by supporting it. Providing our advisors with the tools, service and resources they need to build the practice they want – it's not as exciting as a parade, but it is a reflection of our commitment to our All Ways Open Architecture™ philosophy.
How we support our Independent Financial Advisors:
Ours is a personalized service model built upon on-the-ground support and easy access to the Home Office. In short, it's Independence as our advisors define it.
Our annual Women’s Conference, held in Chicago on May 5-7, was yet again a huge success, providing unique networking and learning opportunities for our female financial advisors. This year’s conference was also exciting and unique in that provided a new opportunity. As part of Advisor Group’s ongoing commitment to its women advisors, Advisor Group has developed a Women’s Program which was formally launched at this year’s Conference: Generation i: Advisor Group’s Community for Independent Women.
Generation i has four pillars: Leadership, Mentorship, Development and Outreach. These pillars support a program we hope our female advisors will find beneficial, inspiring and powerful. All of these efforts will be bolstered by Home Office resources.
We encourage all of our female advisors to participate in this new and exciting initiative and help us bring more women to our industry!
For millions of revelers around the world, March 17 can mean only one thing. On the date of his death, Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick, is honored in many ways, both secular and religious. Not Irish by birth, he is famous, legend holds, for driving the snakes from that island.
While some believe that geography might better explain Ireland’s lack of snakes, we’ll leave that discussion to others. One thing not open for debate here at Royal Alliance: our commitment to the security of electronic communications between our advisors and their clients.
That’s why our broker-dealer is currently rolling out a new e-mail encryption functionality to our advisors. This software, which will keep unwanted “vipers” from accessing electronic communications containing Personally Identifiable Information (PII) sent by our advisors, is being provided at no additional cost.
Hands-on training, user guides and client-use brochures have been made available to allow our affiliates to maximize their ability to safeguard the sensitive, personal information they work with every day.
Allowing our advisors to communicate electronically with clients in a secure manner is a responsibility we take very seriously. This new software, along with our other technology rollouts, is a reflection of our ongoing efforts to make “state-of-the-art” our standard. Our advisors – and their clients – deserve nothing less.
This month, 3,000 or so four-legged superstars of the canine world – along with their human sidekicks – will descend upon New York City to compete in the Westminster Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show.
For our money, the event’s grand finale, “Best in Show” still boasts the toughest judging job around. Why? There’s no one set of standards. A Best in Show finalist is not judged against the competition, but against a set of standards applicable to its breed. The winner is the dog judged to have best played to his/her strengths, whatever they may be.
Here at Royal Alliance, our advisors judge their success by their own set of standards, too. Whether Independent Advisors, Branch Advisors, Branch Managers, as well as Corporate, Independent, or Hybrid RIAs, our goal is to allow them to attain the future they envision.
At Royal, we recognize our job is to:
We offer a comprehensive suite of technology platforms – and our advisors can choose which ones they want to deploy, depending upon their practice.
We provide myriad resources designed to help our advisors manage client assets. From an accessible, top-notch Wealth Management team to Morningstar® research capabilities, our advisors can choose to tap into whatever tools they need to provide insightful guidance to their clients.
Throughout the year, we give our advisors the opportunity to earn CE credit, partake in ongoing training, hear from industry leaders, and network with their peers via a series of classroom, web-based and conference/meeting learning opportunities. Advisors decide the “what, where and when” that works best for them.
At Royal Alliance, when it comes to working with each of our advisors to play to their strengths, we like to think we’re Blue Ribbon material.
2013 is upon us. And, while the roar surrounding the fiscal cliff has been reduced to a relatively muted chant focusing on spending cuts, a number of other potentially harmful “what ifs” continue to weigh on the markets. The ongoing European debt crisis and China’s slowing economy will prove challenging in the coming months. Not to mention the outlook for consumer confidence (or the lack thereof) and domestic unemployment. Then, there’s corporate profitability and rising tax rates… You get the picture… and the picture is a little blurry. The truth is, it is very difficult to get a clear sense of what is happening, why it is happening and – most importantly – an answer to that age-old question: “What does it all mean to me?”
Fortunately, advisors affiliated with Royal Alliance have access to the Advisor Group Investment Research Team and the myriad resources they make available to help make sense of all of these variables.
The team supplements its asset allocation guidance with timely commentary and analysis, as well as monthly conference calls that provide a forum for active dialog. Delivering informed, high-quality client support is an advisor’s job. Providing our advisors with the resources to do that is our job here at Royal Alliance.
Click here to read Advisor Group Investment Strategist Jim Foster’s January Economic Commentary.
The 2012 elections are over and the year is winding down. A great deal of talk surrounds what next year will bring, both politically and economically. With much of the media engaged in a frenzy of “if this… then that… unless the other thing happens” analyses, it’s hard to know what to think – or what to do. From an investing standpoint, therein lies the importance of using the services of an independent financial advisor.
In such an environment, investors’ portfolios may very well be what are dangling off a cliff… of emotions. Because it’s very easy – and very harmful – for investors to act on the last bit of news they’ve heard, the steadying influence of a knowledgeable and objective professional can go a long way toward reducing impulsive investment mistakes.
Royal Alliance Associates financial professionals are well versed in guiding their clients through the market ups and downs associated with economic cycles. Whether assessing an investment’s fundamental strength or weakness, reviewing the macroeconomic environment in which companies must compete, gauging the implications of tax policy or assessing global investing conditions, the guiding hand of a financial advisor can make a real impact over the long term.
As the world ushers in a new year, some long-standing concerns will carry over into 2013. The informed advice offered by a Royal Alliance Associates advisor will no doubt help clients navigate what is sure to be an interesting year to come.
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