1st Global Announces New Investment Program, Guidance for CPA Advisors on Fiduciary Rule
Nov 16, 2016
Independent broker-dealer will continue offering commission and fee-based retirement accounts
DALLAS — Nov. 16, 2016 — 1st Global, an independent wealth management partner to exceptional CPA firms, announced today that it will continue supporting all forms of comprehensive financial planning and investment advice in accordance with the upcoming Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule. The company also announced a new fee-based investment program for clients with investible assets of $5,000 or more as well as new tools that affiliated advisors can use to adjust their businesses prior to the rule’s expected implementation in April 2017.
“The biggest question mark for the financial services industry right now is what may happen to the DOL rule under a Trump presidency,” 1st Global President David Knoch said today during his “State of the Union” address at the company’s National Conference. “At 1st Global, 82 percent of our advisors are already held to a higher standard because of their CPA, CFP®, AIF® or other designations, and we will continue to adjust our business to be compliant with the rule as it stands today. Regardless of what happens to the rule, we believe the financial services industry must do more to move toward transparency and consumer choice, so that’s where we are heading.
“Countless Americans rely on the skills of comprehensive financial planners and need these professionals in their lives to help enable intentional living. We are not seeking ways to merely survive under these new regulations — we are setting ourselves and our advisors up to thrive.”
While the company will continue to allow its nearly 1,000 registered representatives to sell commissionable products when they are in the best interests of their clients, it will reduce the number of funds available for use in retirement accounts when a commission is charged. These commission-based products will be allowed for accounts that meet specific requirements and will require a best interest contract (BIC) to be in place prior to the product being sold.
“Commissionable products are often the lowest cost option for clients, which is why we’re preserving this choice, and we also know that a level-fee fiduciary option is a great way for families to save and invest,” Holly Peritz, 1st Global’s assistant vice president of wealth platforms, said. “We’re also announcing a new advisory program that gives even more clients access to these programs. Ultimately, I want to ensure our advisors are equipped with a variety of strategies that are compliant with the fiduciary rule.”
As mentioned by Peritz, 1st Global is adding a new fee-based advisory program to its Investment Management Solutions (IMS) platform. The new program is open to accounts with balances of $5,000 or more and has a simple, clear and transparent fee structure.
“We are embracing the spirit of the DOL fiduciary rule and seeking to provide investors with clear and transparent avenues to build their wealth,” Rob Jackson, 1st Global’s senior advisor of wealth platforms and architect of the new program, said. “This new small account solution is an understandable, uncomplicated way for them to access the IMS platform.”
To aid advisors in complying with the fiduciary rule, the company announced it is enhancing its systems to help affiliated partners identify which of their clients’ retirement accounts will require BICs once the rule becomes effective in April. In addition, the company added several new client-facing materials to a special resource center on its financial advisor website. The resource center was launched in April 2016 and has served as a central hub for education, training and communications from 1st Global’s Fiduciary Rule Task Force.
These announcements are the latest in a number of measures 1st Global has taken in 2016 to ensure its advisors and their clients have access to the investment vehicles and comprehensive advice they need to reach their long-term financial goals. The company has been advocating for investors by publicly urging non-traded REIT sponsors to lower the upfront commissions of non-traded REITS and other direct participation programs.
In addition, the company expanded its capabilities to allow its affiliated financial advisors to adapt a fee-based advice model. The new model, called Method 10® Seasonal Planning, creates a platform for advisors to have regular ongoing discussions with their clients on important financial planning topics.
“There are so many forces affecting change in the wealth management industry,” Jeff Magson, 1st Global executive vice president and client experience officer, said. “We are committed to helping our financial advisors evolve their practices to a fully fiduciary world, and we will continue to seek out ways to put them and their clients in the best positions to succeed.”
About 1st Global
1st Global was founded in 1992 by CPAs who believe that accounting, tax and estate planning firms are uniquely qualified to provide comprehensive wealth management services to their clients. 1st Global is a research and consulting partner that provides CPA, tax and estate planning firms with education, technology, business-building framework and client solutions that make these firms leaders in their professions through dedicated professional client relationships built around wealth management. Around 400 firms have chosen to affiliate with 1st Global, making it one of the largest financial services partners for the tax, accounting and legal professions.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame logo), which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification requirements.
Securities are offered through 1st Global Capital Corp., which is a Member of FINRA and SIPC and is headquartered at 12750 Merit Dr., Ste. 1200 in Dallas, Texas, 214-294-5000. Investment advisory services are offered through 1st Global Advisors, Inc. Additional information about 1st Global is available at www.1stGlobal.com.