Matt McGinness has a reputation for producing heavy hitting research in practice management.

He’s also been schooled in the ways of consulting with advisory firms to help them grow their businesses. That’s why San Diego-based First Allied Securities tapped him as its new managing director to runs its advisory consulting services division. 

First Allied Securities has been among this industry’s leading independent broker dealers for several years. Since 2007, it has consistently ranked between 20 and 24 on Financial Planning’s list of the biggest and fastest growing independent broker dealerss.

But that’s not enough. The firm wants to break out and do business on a much higher level, according to executives at the company.

“Mr. McGinness will … play an instrumental role in helping position First Allied as a world-class independent broker-dealer committed to providing objective guidance and help advisors attain their financial goals,” Adam Antoniades, president of First Allied said in a statement Wednesday.

In a phone interview Wednesday, McGinness said First Allied aggressively tries to help advisors grow their business, and it goes beyond providing service and technology. Many advisors often struggle with successfully managing two sets of skills: drumming up business and managing it on the back end, he said. They bring in plenty of revenue, but don’t understand why they are not taking home more. They say they feel like they are running a successful business, but don’t understand why working on it is so taxing.

And so McGinness, 36, caught the company’s eye. For 12 years, he has worked in consulting and marketing capacities, developing solid expertise in compensation, staffing, financial management, client surveys, customer experience design, marketing strategy and tactics, as well as client service and satisfaction. He was an associate director at the respected research firm Cerulli Associates, based in Boston.

While there, he wrote studies on topics including the adoption of fee-based pricing, wholesaling and alternative investments for the Cerulli Report series.

LPL Financial Services, the industry’s largest independent broker-dealer, hired McGinness from Cerulli. There, he was vice president of business consulting and delivered business analysis to its top advisors.

MGinness left LPL to launch Best Practice Research, a research and consulting firm. While there, he authored the 2009 Moss Adams/Investment News Advisor Compensation and Study, and co-authored reports for Pershing.

“On an industry level, it totally makes sense,” said Tim Welsh, president of Nexus Strategy in Larkspur, Calif. “I think be able to relate to [advisors] because he’s been in their business and can speak their common language.”

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Also on the move this week:

Barclays Wealth Americas has appointed Don Milich and Clifford Wang as investment representatives in its Atlanta office. Both worked at Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management.

Brewer Financial Services, the broker-dealer division of Brewer Investment Group, hired four advisors: Tony Coccarelli in Richardson, Texas; Erik Wyse in Plano, Texas; David Pankiw in Hagerstown, Md.; and John Slater in Wayne, Penn. Coccarelli and Wyse previously were advisors for Minneapolis-based Ameriprise Financial Services, while Pankiw and Slater came from Spire Investment Partners, in McLean, Va.

Citi Private Bank has appointments in its Dallas, New York and Washington, D.C. offices. John A. Edrington and Charles Kirkland Davis both join the Dallas office as directors and ultra high-net-worth private bankers. John J. McGinness 3d joins Citi’s [C] New York group as managing director and ultra high-net-worth private banker. He was a managing director for U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management [BAC], also in its New York office. Also, Katherine Stith joins the company as director and law firm group private banker, working in Washington Before joining Citi, she was a vice president and private banker in Wells Fargo Bank’s [WFC] legal specialty group.

The Insured Retirement Institute, based in Washington, D.C., has added five seats to its board of directors.The organization appointed to the board Gary C. Bhojwani, president and chief executive officer of Allianz Life; Chris Blunt, executive vice president of Retirement Income Security at New York Life Insurance Co.; Lynne Ford, CEO of ING Financial Solutions; George Gatch president and CEO of JPMorgan Funds; and John Papadopulos, president of Wells Fargo Retirement.

Penson Financial Services, the U.S. securities clearing unit of Dallas-based Penson Worldwide, appointed Andrew Konchan chief information officer. He was chief information officer and managing director of Fortis Clearing Americas.

Vanguard International Explorer Fund, based in Valley Forge, Pa., adopted a multimanager structure and has added Wellington Management Co. to its investment advisory team. Simon H. Thomas will head the four-person investment team that will oversee Wellington’s portion of the fund.