Lon Dolber is the CEO of American Portfolios, an independent broker/dealer and RIA with some 800 affiliated advisors and $40 billion in assets, and the winner of the Wealthmanagement.com award for CEO of the year for small broker/dealers (less than 1,000 affiliated representatives).
Dolber launched American Portfolios on Sept. 10, 2001 – and kept the nascent firm going in the terrible weeks following. He’s grown the business with a laser focus on service for his affiliated advisors, a shared ownership model and a reluctance to pursue outside investors or growth through acquiring or being acquired. “That’s about consolidation for profit and scale and for shareholder value. How does that help the community? Has it helped employees? How does it help advisors and has it helped the investing public?”
In this episode, David Armstrong speaks with Lon about:
Launching American Portfolios on Sept. 10, 2001, and making the decision to continue even in the wake of the next day’s terrorist attacks.
Growing the business from a handful of employees to now serving 800 advisors across 400 branches, managing some $40 billion in assets.
His thoughts on the outside investors and the frenzy of acquisitions taking place in the industry-and how that might not help the advisor or the advisor’s clients.
His belief in stakeholder capitalism and a shared ownership model for the business.
Why he and his firm are supporting a creative residency program in Ferguson, Mo.
In this episode, David Armstrong is joined by Marc Butler, COO and president of Skience, to talk about the directions the firm has taken since he was appointed in August of 2020—in the midst of the pandemic. Skience, a digital-first client onboarding platform, was recognized in the 2021 Wealthmanagement.com Industry Awards in the technology providers category for business support systems – workflow automation.
In this episode, you will learn:
How COVID has changed the way advisors engage with clients
How Skience provides a seamless way for advisors to transition firms and onboard clients with a seamless link to the custodians and broker/dealers that support them
Real world data which shows how the onboarding experience is critical to keeping advisors, and their clients, engaged with the firm
Why a significant minority of clients don’t follow advisors to a new firm, and how better transition services can reduce that number
The evolution of Skience from a salesforce overlay towards becoming the data-centric component of an advisor’s workflow
Why advisors hesitate in the face of digital implementations
It’s been two and a half years since Envestnet acquired the financial planning platform MoneyGuide; soon after, the global pandemic hit, sending many advisors scrambling to refine, or in many cases create for the first time, financial plans for their clients.
The pandemic prompted a dramatic and quantifiable spike in the use of the MoneyGuide platform, according to president Tony Leal.
In this episode, David Armstrong sits down with Leal to discuss how the platform has grown under Envestnet’s ownership, getting advisors comfortable with the concept of client-directed financial plans, why access to Envestnet’s data engines provides more value for MoneyGuide’s users, and how “embedded finance” will push the concept of financial planning far wider in the future—bringing both competition, and opportunity, to financial advisors.
In this episode, David and Tony talk about:
How Money Guide has evolved in the two years since Envestnet acquired the company.
How long it took many financial advisors to understand the value of planning.
Why advisors were originally fearful of letting clients interact with their financial plans.
Why “volatility” should be seen in a larger context than just portfolio returns, to include taxes, shifting life situations and yes, even pandemics.
How the pandemic drove 39% higher uptake in new client portal users and almost doubled the number of new client account aggregations on the platform.
Why embedded finance may be one of the next great revolutionary developments in fintech, and one that presents an opportunity for savvy financial advisors.