Fiduciary poach: Advisor Group hires training specialist from LPL
Advisor Group has tapped a fiduciary rule expert from LPL Financial to lead compliance training efforts for its more than 5,000 advisers.
Micah Wei manages a team of five people in the field and six at the Phoenix-based Advisor Group’s headquarters focusing on both the Department of Labor rule and internal sales on the firm’s proprietary platform, the company announced last week. Wei, 40, had a similar role at LPL for the past three years.
Advisor Group, the second largest independent broker-dealer network with over $1.3 billion in revenues last year, has made its plans around the rule clear. The firm earlier this year unveiled major fee cuts and other significant shifts which executives have said they won’t reverse despite the rule’s uncertain fate.
“It’s pretty complex. These things aren’t black and white,” Wei says. “How do we help advisers understand what changes need to take place in their practices so that they are in compliance?”
The firm’s answer to that question will include a series of training modules about the rule, Wei says. Wei’s team will also promote the firm’s solutions and products to its brokerage force at four member firms. Advisor Group named him its vice president for sales on its Wealth Management Platform.
He officially started at Advisor Group on June 28, according to FINRA BrokerCheck. LPL, where he came aboard in December 2013, had appointed him to lead advisory and product sales, along with training programs for LPL’s 14,000 advisers in response to the DOL rule.
He declined to discuss LPL’s fiduciary policies, which have also drawn close scrutiny as competing firms throughout the industry prepare for the rule. A spokesman for LPL said the firm doesn’t comment on former employees.
Advisor Group’s hiring of Wei marks a return to the company where he started in the industry back in 2001. He worked as an analyst for SunAmerica Secruities, the predecessor to Advisor Group firm SagePoint Financial, before stints at Dunham & Associates Investment Counsel and First Allied Securities.
Like most IBD’s, three of Advisor Group’s four subsidiaries took in less revenue in 2016 than the previous year under falling commissions in the space. SagePoint, Royal Alliance Associates, FSC Securities and Woodbury Financial Services still ranked in the top 30 on this year’s FP50 list.
“Micah's deeply rooted wealth management and leadership experience is incredibly valuable as Advisor Group continues to equip advisers with the tools and insights needed to navigate through this new fiduciary era," CEO Jamie Price said in a statement.