Securities America plans to create new opportunity for its advisors with high-net-worth individuals in 2013.

Paul Lofties, who has been promoted to senior vice president of wealth management at Securities America, said that reaching wealthy investors has been a challenge for independent broker-dealers because “traditionally, high-net-worth individuals have done more investing with wirehouses” but he has a strategy for success.

One new initiative will be the establishment of a hedge fund platform, Lofties said.

“We anticipate a rollout in the first quarter,” he said. “We’re already working with Crystal Capital Partners.” Lofties said Crystal Capital has aggregated true hedge funds on a platform, which will allow Securities America to choose among those funds and offer them to qualified clients.

“This year,” Lofties said, “we’re also going to give our advisors more access to the tools offered by our parent company, Ladenburg Thalmann, especially the syndicated offerings.” He mentioned IPOs, follow-on offerings after initial issues, and launches of closed-end funds. “This access is uncommon for independent B-Ds,” he added, “so we want to make our advisors and clients aware these products are available.”

Some Securities America advisors had requested these ventures, Lofties explained, because they do a significant amount of business with high-net-worth clients. “In addition,” he said, “we have been proactive. We want to increase support for our existing advisors and also help our recruiting efforts.”

Securities America sees an opportunity to add advisors from wirehouses this year. “Those types of advisors may be used to having access to products such as hedge funds and syndicated products,” Lofties said. “We’re also providing additional access to Ladenburg Thalmann’s fixed income desk. We’ll have more opportunities for institutional types of bonds, with better service and competitive pricing.”

When asked about external factors that might affect wealth management in 2013, Lofties pointed to the fiscal cliff-generated tax law and the prospect of ongoing negotiations in Washington. “Now that we have some finality on estate tax,” he said, “we’ll be able to focus on estate planning. That could mean more life insurance activity. In addition, we’re not convinced that we’ve seen the end of income tax increases, so there probably will be strong demand for tax-advantaged investments.”

Lofties, who will become a member of the executive leadership team, joined Securities America in 2003 as an advisory services consultant with Securities America Advisors. The wealth management department was founded under his leadership and merged with the product distribution department in 2009.

Securities America also announced that:

  • Jim Heeney has been promoted to chief operating officer and senior vice president.
  • David Vaughan, Jr., has been promoted to vice president of finance.
  • Craig Zimmerman has been promoted to vice president of operations.

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