June 18, 2019 | Announcements
Securities America Introduces Virtual Assistant Solution to Provide Staffing Support for Affiliated Advisors
LA VISTA, Neb. – June 18, 2019 – Securities America, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. (NYSE American: LTS, LTSL, LTS PrA, LTSF, LTSK, LTSH), today announced that it has launched a new Virtual Assistant solution that enables participating advisors to augment their staff with Securities America-trained support personnel who perform administrative and clerical tasks on a remote or ‘virtual’ basis. The offering, which was tested in a successful pilot program last year, allows advisors to build out their teams and spend more of their time and energy serving clients.
Securities America’s Virtual Assistant personnel are specially trained to handle tasks such as opening and maintaining accounts, obtaining signatures, processing, and monitoring transfers, entering data, compliance review submissions and uploading documents.
The program provides an outsourced staffing solution for advisors who may not wish to hire a full-time assistant or may not currently have the resources to do so. Virtual Assistants are employees of Securities America and advisors can arrange the assistant’s schedule on an as-needed, hourly basis. Securities America also takes care of the assistants’ training, payroll taxes, vacation pay, sick days, worker's compensation and employee benefits such as health and dental insurance. Currently, about 40 advisors are utilizing the Virtual Assistant program.
Janine Wertheim, president of Securities America Advisors and senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Securities America, said, “Our new Virtual Assistant offering is a great solution for advisors who need to boost their administrative teams for any reason. Maintaining the right staffing levels to deliver consistently excellent client service can be a challenge for any business, and we’re pleased to leverage our resources and scale to provide a convenient, flexible option that can help advisors across the spectrum of size and business models in the Securities America community. This is just one more way that we and our parent, Ladenburg Thalmann, are putting our resources to work to expand our advisors’ capabilities and provide practice management solutions that empower them to focus on serving clients.”
Beau McNicholas, a Securities America-affiliated independent advisor who participated in the Virtual Assistant pilot program and who runs advisory firm Financial Landscaping in Santa Fe, New Mexico, said, “As a one-person practice, having a Virtual Assistant has allowed me to be much more efficient with my time and put my focus where it needs to be – on my clients. Having top-notch administrative assistance from Securities America-trained professionals who truly understand my business has been a game-changer. I believe this type of service is the future of administrative support within our industry.”
The Virtual Assistant service joins Securities America’s HR Advantage program to round out its suite of staffing support services. HR Advantage helps affiliated advisors enhance their operating efficiency through a variety of solutions for staffing needs, including written job descriptions, compensation analysis, written help-wanted advertisements, resume screening, candidate assessment, and background checks. HR Advantage is a reasonably-priced solution for advisors who require staffing support but lack the time to undertake a full hiring process, which can consume roughly 50 hours of an advisor’s time to make a single hire.
Rob Santoriello, president and CEO of Iron Point Financial Advisors in Folsom, California, said, “Advisors are generally good at running a financial-planning business, but we are not all experts at hiring to facilitate further growth. Securities America’s HR Advantage program provides a way for us to partner with experts in our industry who can help us find the right person to do the job in a timely and cost-effective manner.”