Ladenburg Thalmann, the parent company of five independent broker/dealer subsidiaries including Securities America, today announced the launch of a new retirement plan consulting platform.
The news comes amid a busy summer period for the broker/dealer and advisory marketplace. As retirement specialist advisers shift away from commissioned service and towards relationship-based wealth management and plan design consulting, providers of brokerage and investment management services are making their own changes to attract and retain skilled advice professionals—while protecting their own bottom line.
According to the firm, the new platform will combine ongoing consulting support with enhanced software, training and resources to help the nearly 4,500 advisers across Ladenburg’s five subsidiaries grow their retirement plan businesses. The other subsidies are Triad Advisors, Investacorp, KMS Financial Services and Securities Service Network.
Currently, about 1,800 advisers among these firms are retirement specialists, and the firm says it expects this group to accelerate their growth and better address sponsor clients’ evolving needs via the new platform. However, the firm is also encouraging advisers less familiar with the retirement plan space to check out the new capabilities.
The firm suggests its advisers will gain access to enhanced product selection, improved investment monitoring, fee and expense benchmarking reports, pre-approved marketing materials and a wide array of educational content. The platform will also give advisers “techniques to effectively prepare for meetings with plan sponsors, and enable them to provide plan participants with model portfolios, assistance in enrolling and explanations of fees and expenses.”
Asked for more detail about exactly how advisers will interact with the platform, a Ladenburg spokesperson highlighted the role of “centralized retirement plan consultants who provide assistance with general retirement plan education and knowledge for advisers, product selection, requests for proposal, fiduciary education, investment monitoring, fee and expense benchmarking and prospecting assistance.”
Richard Lampen, president and CEO of Ladenburg, says the new platform represents an expansion of Ladenburg’s existing resources for retirement plan-focused advisers, “demonstrating the firm’s continuing commitment to supporting the professional success of advisors in this vital segment of the financial advice space.”
Other features of the platform include FINRA-reviewed, pre-approved marketing materials and educational content. The firm says specialist advisers who have businesses that are substantially or completely focused on serving retirement plan sponsors will benefit from the platform’s enhancements. For intermediate advisers managing several plans while still focusing on traditional wealth management activities, the platform will provide coaching, best practices and ongoing consulting support, enabling them to grow the retirement side of their businesses. Finally, for generalist advisers overseeing one or two retirement plans in addition to their core wealth management practices, the platform will provide tools to help them gain expertise and expand their presence in the space.
Readers may be interested to learn that Ladenburg has selected Retirement Plan Advisory Group (RPAG) “to furnish the platform’s technology elements and certain of its practice management and training modules.” The leadership at RPAG and Ladenburg say the platform will be tailored “both from a client and asset retention standpoint and for advisers who require sophisticated support to aggressively grow their businesses.”
The Ladenburg Retirement Plan Consulting Platform will be rolled out in phases, with all Ladenburg subsidiaries and their advisers expected to have access to the platform by the end of 2018. More information is available at http://www.ladenburg.com/.