TAMPA, Fla., June 30, 2016 — Independent Financial Partners (IFP), a hybrid-RIA headquartered in Tampa, Florida, has been named an office of supervisory jurisdiction (OSJ) and has expanded its staff to further improve its ability to provide personal support to its advisor network.
As an OSJ, IFP’s advisors will now deal directly with IFP’s central team instead of competing for services with thousands of other advisors across the country through home office supervision. OSJs are responsible for reviewing communications, approving new accounts, , reviewing customer orders, regulating securities transactions and more.
“We offer direct support for nearly every other aspect of our advisors’ businesses, so it made sense to bring OSJ services back to IFP,” said IFP President and CEO William Hamm. “Advisors can expect quicker and more cost effective service from an IFP team member with an in-depth understanding of their practices. We have a vested interest in the success of our advisors’ businesses and will do everything in our power to ensure they are able to do their work to the best of their abilities.”
To support the OSJ, IFP has added three compliance analysts (with plans for more in IFP’s Phoenix office) to a team led by Chris Cokinis, IFP’s new Chief Compliance Officer, Brokerage. He brings to IFP more than 35 years of experience in the securities, investment advisor and insurance industries in the areas of management, operations, compliance, sales and regulation. He has 22 years of senior management experience with several full-service broker/dealers and investment advisory firms, including two years as a president and 20 years as a CCO.
“Chris is a student of both the broker/dealer and the RIA sides of the industry,” Hamm said. “His experience, his demeanor and his vast understanding of regulators and how they work will serve our advisors well.”
Prior to Cokinis’ hiring, IFP had eight people who handled compliance for its RIA business, led by Chief Compliance Officer John Whisenant. Under the new structure, the firm’s two CCOs will be fully immersed in his area of expertise.
Cokinis expects to see an improvement in the timeliness of approvals for client communications.
“If you have to wait several days for a timely communication to be approved, it might result in a missed opportunity,” he said. “It is my goal to build a team that works with the advisors on compliance matters, not manage them from above. We want our advisors to see us as the ‘home-team’ to support their business goals, not an entity that is out to micro-manage. We know them better and understand their business better than any outside group.”
Broader Team Grows
As IFP adds OSJ services, Chris Hamm has been promoted to chief operating officer. In this new role, Chris Hamm will continue to manage the firm’s transitions and operations; technology; marketing; accounting; and business development teams. Additionally, he will oversee the wealth management, insurance, plan advisors and compliance teams. The move comes following Chris Hamm earning the Series 24 certification, enabling him to support all of IFP’s advisors directly by acting as a supervisor to a Series 7 producer as necessary.
Adding another Series 24 holder at the executive level exemplifies IFP’s culture of compliance.
“As we take back OSJ responsibilities, we will engage a complement of five designated supervisors and their manager, all with the required Series 24, to supervise the brokerage activities of our advisors,” Whisenant said.
Additionally, IFP has hired Audra Milligan as its new Chief of Staff to ensure the firm maintains a high level of effectiveness and efficiency as it grows. In this newly created position, Milligan acts as the liaison between the staff and the executive team and is responsible for leading and implementing IFP’s strategic growth initiatives.
“Audra’s presence will allow the executive team to focus more on IFP’s advisors and our recruiting efforts vs. the day-to-day operation of our business,” William Hamm said.
Milligan, a graduate of the University of Florida, brings to IFP a decade of experience in the financial services industry. Most recently, she served as the Director of Recruitment at Northwestern Mutual in Tampa, Florida. She began her career at MKP Capital Management, a New York-based hedge fund, where she climbed the ranks from Assistant to Senior Project Coordinator to Vice President and Operations Manager over the course of a decade.
The growth of the central IFP team will allow the firm to further enhance the support it provides to its advisors.
“We are making sure that we have the right team in place to provide everything that our current and future advisors need to manage their clients effectively and grow their businesses,” Hamm said.
About Independent Financial Partners
Family-owned and privately-held since it was founded in 2000 by CEO William Hamm Jr. on the principals of independence, flexibility and collaboration, Independent Financial Partners (IFP) is a comprehensive financial advisor support firm with home/corporate offices in Tampa, Florida, and Phoenix, Arizona. It is dedicated to delivering personalized service to a growing network of more than 460 independent advisors nationwide, allowing them to better focus on the needs of their clients.
An SEC Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) and an Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction (OSJ), IFP works directly with its advisors to provide them technological, compliance, marketing, business development, and operational support, as well as access to leading experts in the fields of retirement, wealth management, insurance and institutional services. Its divisions include IFP Institutional Services, IFP Insurance Group, IFP Plan Advisors and IFP Wealth Management.
As of Dec. 31, 2015, IFP’s advisors have more than $28 billion in assets under advisement. The firm has annually earned the trusted CEFEX certification for support services for adhering to the industry’s best practices since 2014. For more information, visit www.ifpartners.com. Follow the firm on Twitter at @IF_Partners.
Posted by: Sean Brennan | June 30th, 2016 at 2:05pm.