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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.
The Advisor Group network of broker-dealers just got an early holiday gift: 1,400 new advisors and an Oakdale, MN-based home office staff.
On November 30, 2012, Advisor Group finalized its purchase of Woodbury Financial, expanding its network of broker-dealers from three to four – and raising its total number of affiliated advisors to approximately 6,000.
Woodbury Financial, our new sister firm, has a lot in common with Royal Alliance. Both firms support advisors who are insightful, knowledgeable and dedicated to their clients’ financial success. And, both firms provide these advisors with the innovative technologies and high-quality, personalized service they deserve.
As the launch of the holiday season approaches, take a moment to offer a silent nod of thanks to Sarah Josepha Hale. It was her dogged determination to establish a national day of thanks that led Abraham Lincoln to designate the last Tuesday of November a national day of thanksgiving. Thereafter, the date changed occasionally; and, after some back-and-forth, FDR and Congress agreed to proclaim the fourth Thursday in November as the national holiday of “Thanksgiving.”
There’s a good chance that most of you reading this were unfamiliar with the role Sarah Josepha Hale played in the establishment of this quintessentially American holiday. The truth is, we sometimes don’t know how things come to be. We just are grateful that someone took care of it – that someone was “on it.”
And that’s an apt description of the home office personnel who support our advisors. From commissions to technology, and from recruiting assistance to training, the experienced professionals at Royal Alliance are “on it.” Royal’s commitment to providing a truly open architecture platform for our advisors translates into servicing a diverse clientele: No two advisors have the same practice, concerns and needs. Supporting the unique businesses of our advisors takes insight, commitment and knowledge. And it takes the dedication that comes with truly caring about our advisors’ success.
Whether it’s ensuring our advisors are up-to-date- on – and compliant with – current regulations, helping them maximize the power of social media, or introducing new technology to improve efficiency, the Royal Alliance Home Office provides our advisors with the service they deserve. Service that is personalized. Service that is comprehensive. Service that does not rest until our client – the advisor -- is satisfied.
Our personnel are the backbone of our success, and an integral part of our advisors’ ability to serve their clients so well. And for that, we are grateful.
Nearly 3,000 financial services industry leaders, professionals, home office employees and guests gathered on the banks of the Potomac River in early September for the 2012 ConnectED Summit. Anticipation for this first-ever national conference hosting all of the broker-dealers in the Advisor Group network ran high. And, ConnectED did not disappoint. Marquee-name keynote speakers gave voice to the Summit’s themes of “Leadership, Service and Innovation,” while over 130 high-end educational breakout sessions provided timely information, enlightened insights, and lively discourse. In addition, 75-plus sponsor firms were on hand to offer our advisors product and service information on an informal, one-on-one basis. ConnectED ended on a high note, with a closing night Maryland crab fest on the banks of the Potomac featuring fireworks and a concert.
The 2012 ConnectED Summit was held at the world-class Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, MD and also served as an introduction to Advisor Group for approximately 100 advisors from Woodbury Financial, an independent broker-dealer acquired by the Firm earlier in the year. With all the conference had to offer, these advisors came away with a good indication of the breadth and depth of services that will be available to them as part of the Advisor Group network.
As a broker-dealer, we have many responsibilities; providing our advisors with premier educational opportunities is an important one. Not only did the 2012 ConnectED Summit fulfill this obligation, it also provided a venue in which our advisors had an opportunity to hone their skills while networking with their peers, Senior Management and industry leaders.
The inaugural ConnectED Summit has set the bar high for next year’s conference. We’re hard at work already to ensure the 2013 ConnectED Summit exceeds expectations and delivers on the promise we make to our advisors to support their businesses enthusiastically and effectively.
You may have been reading about a couple of Royal Alliance's affiliated companies in the media recently. Happily, the news is all good. Advisor Group, the network of independent broker-dealers to which Royal Alliance belongs, has just entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Woodbury Financial Services from The Hartford. Woodbury will be operated as a stand-alone broker-dealer, becoming the fourth firm in the Advisor Group network. We expect the deal to close by year-end 2012.
And, it's a great fit. Just like RAA, Woodbury's focus has always been on their advisors' success. And, just like RAA, Woodbury is committed to providing outstanding, personalized service and broad-based support, all with one goal in mind: helping advisors build the practices they want, in the manner they choose.
We're very excited at the prospect of welcoming Woodbury as a sister firm, for a number of reasons: In addition to strengthening our presence in the independent broker-dealer space, and expanding the Advisor Group brand, this acquisition is yet another manifestation of the resurgence of our parent company, AIG. *
At the height of the financial crisis in 2008, the US government extended a helping hand to AIG. In turn, AIG made a promise to repay this assistance and committed to doing so at a profit to US taxpayers. And, we are making good on our promise in a more successful manner than anyone would have predicted. No one can tell the story better than AIG employees. Visit: www.YouTube.com/AIG to hear the AIG Story. It's a good one.
*Advisor Group is a subsidiary of SunAmerica Financial Group, whose parent company is AIG.
For many of us, July conjures up images of barbeques, fireworks, and parades, all in celebration of the founding of the United States of America.
With the benefit of hindsight, we all recognize that the Founding Fathers were indeed onto something. The hard-won freedom and independence Americans enjoy define us as a nation and serve as the basis for our country’s strength and prosperity.
Freedom and independence are the core values that we here at Royal Alliance have embraced as well. Our advisors aren’t interested in being told how to run their businesses. And, that’s good. Because, we’re not interested in telling them: their practice; their call.
Successful independent financial advisors are entrepreneurs who demand a high level of service, in support of the businesses they’ve built. Royal Alliance's commitment to delivering state-of-the-art technology, comprehensive regulatory and operational support and an expansive product to our advisors never wavers. That’s because we are as committed to our advisors’ independence as they are. At Royal Alliance, we view our job as giving advisors the freedom to build the business – and the future – they envision.
Business is essentially about relationships; establishing, maintaining and growing relationships are integral to long-term success. And, as any business owner can attest, establishing, maintaining and growing relationships are time-consuming endeavors. Financial advisors work each day to build their practices by delivering top-quality customer service to current clients, while also reaching out to new ones. As a broker-dealer, our job at Royal Alliance is to help our advisors perform these tasks more efficiently and more effectively.
That's why we are conducting a multi-phase rollout of Salesforce.com – a leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool – to our advisors. To ensure our advisors can maximize the benefits of Salesforce, we've created a comprehensive training program. As our advisors complete training, they gain access to the tool.
What, exactly, is so special about our CRM offering?
Attract. Engage. Support. That's how financial advisors build their businesses.
Salesforce.com. That's Royal Alliance's latest tool to help them do so.
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