Securities America Creates Industry’s First Paperless On-boarding System for New Advisors
Typically when switching broker-dealers, advisors face reams of paperwork and rounds of overnighting envelopes back and forth to finalize agreements. Securities America's system pulls information from the company's internal databases as well as FINRA's CRD application to prepopulate forms for the advisor to review online and correct or confirm. A built-in tracking feature provides the status of each document, avoiding redundancies or overlap between Securities America staff and the prospective advisor.
"As each step in the process is completed or approved, it automatically triggers the next step and generates any necessary email notifications," said Gregg Johnson, Securities America senior vice president of branch office development and acquisitions. "The process can keep moving, even during non-business hours, which allows our transition specialists to spend more time delving into the individual needs of our new advisors. It also gets the new advisor up and running sooner, so they can stay focused on doing business."
Securities America built its online licensing kit with dynamic questioning - the answers to certain questions trigger which additional questions the prospective advisor must complete. The system also performs automatic completion checks to ensure the advisor hasn't missed or skipped a response. Rick Pucci from Park Ridge, Ill., was one of the first to use the paperless on-boarding system when he joined Securities America.
"Much of the data had been prepopulated and a highlighter quickly directed me to the fields that needed my attention," he said. "With the secure website and embedded electronic signature feature, I could access, sign and return applications, agreements, personal history statements and offer letters within minutes. It was incredibly efficient and saved me - and my staff - a lot of time."
The automated on-boarding system is just the latest addition to a more comprehensive paperless office solution promoted by Securities America over the past several years. "We're leading the industry in automating advisor transitions to make them easier and quicker, helping organic recruiting efforts and our branch managers looking to attract new candidates to their offices," said Doreen Griffith, Securities America chief information officer. "The online on-boarding system is the latest in our paperless efforts - which began with in-house WORM-compliant imaging and continued with our straight-through processing system for brokerage and direct business - but it certainly won't be our last."
About Securities America
Headquartered in La Vista, Neb., Securities America Inc. is the nation's eighth largest independent broker-dealer (as ranked by Financial Planning magazine, June 2012, based on 2011 total revenue). For more than 25 years, Securities America's mission has been to foster the success of financial professionals so they can provide quality, objective counsel and services to their clients. Advisors benefit from the firm's industry-leading programs in practice management, advisory services and retirement income distribution, supported by state-of-the-art technology. Founded in 1993, Securities America Advisors Inc. is an SEC-Registered Investment Advisory firm that offers investment management, financial advice and financial planning through a national network of independent financial advisors. Securities America Financial Corp. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. (NYSE MKT: LTS). Securities America received the inaugural Thought Leadership Award from the Retirement Income Industry Association in March 2011. Additional information is available at www.securitiesamerica.com.