Securities America recruits all-female advisor group with $446M in client assets
Securities America announced that Financial Focus has joined its independent advisory and brokerage platform.
Carlsbad, California-based Financial Focus is an independent hybrid registered investment adviser (RIA) firm with $446 million in client advisory and brokerage assets and four advisors. Financial Focus was founded by women advisors to support the financial planning needs of women clients across all ages, with more than 50 percent of the firm's business driven by fee-based advisory services.
“We knew we wanted a partner that was friendly to independent RIAs,” said Barbara Williams, co-founder of Financial Focus. “That was an absolute. We wanted a firm that wasn't too large and had an appreciation for the mission of supporting women clients across the country. Securities America is known for its support of true independence among advisors and respects our business model.”
Williams and Gloria Foote founded Financial Focus in 1984. Although their firm works with businesses and couples, they quickly established a focus on women clients. For seven years, the two wrote a weekly Sunday column in the local paper on finance. For more than 20 years, they taught a community college class on the basics of financial planning for women. Many of their female clients have come to them through life crisis events like divorce or death and from family members and outside professionals.
“We wanted a partner who respects our culture,” Williams said. “We fall in love with our clients. By nature, it’s who we are. We go above and beyond ordinary advisor-client relationships. We’ve led clients’ funerals and guided them into nursing homes. We have so many third-generation clients.”
“At Securities America we empower our women advisors through educational resources, conferences and networking events tailored just for them,” said Janine Wertheim, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Securities America, and president of Securities America Advisors. “We also have one of the highest percentages of female licensed representatives in the country. Financial Focus will find a strong, supportive community of women advisors who really get what they do and why they do it.”
Three years ago, the Financial Focus partners decided to ensure the firm’s future with a carefully thought out succession plan. “We wanted a woman advisor, a smart go-getter,” Williams said. After a careful survey of candidates, they brought on Kate Hewell.
“Kate is a perfect complement to us,” she said. “She added a fresh perspective to the investment advisory side.”
Financial Focus designs individualized financial plans for clients, for any stage of life, Williams said. “Our clients always say to us, ‘You make things simple and so easy to understand.’ We like to say we design for peace of mind.”
“Securities America has been helping independent RIAs like Financial Focus thrive for more than 30 years,” said Gregg Johnson, executive vice president of branch office development and acquisitions. “We have the industry-leading resources and supportive community they need to take care of their clients today and into the future.”