San Diego IBD hires a talent in the Northeast from the embattled Omaha-based IBD

April 13, 2011 — 2:54 PM UTC by Brooke Southall

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Brooke’s Note: The good news for Securities America — if you could call it that — is that its parent company, Ameriprise Financial, will pay most of $150 million to its clients who lost about $400 million by investing in fraudulent private placements, according to a Reuters report yesterday. A class action suit for will be settled for $80 million and Securities America separately agreed to pay $70 million to investors currently pursuing claims in industry arbitration, according to the news service. The bad news for Securities America is that its brand name may be tarnished to the point where some advisors — and the people (namely recruiters) — who sell the brand name to potential advisors may begin considering their options under other brand names. Here is an article about one such case.

First Allied Securities is making Securities America’s loss into its own gain by luring away its IBD’s chief recruiter for the lucrative Northeast region.

Under a cloud

Securities America is owned by Ameriprise; the Omaha, Neb.-based broker-dealer has been under a cloud since regulators discovered that its advisors sold private placements, Medical Capital and Provident Shale, that turned out to be frauds. It appears that the case has been settled as of yesterday. The company declined comment for this article.

The recruiter, Keith Mistretta, 55, will handle New England, New York, New Jersey and Ohio for First Allied Securities, a San Diego-based broker-dealer.

He’ll work from his base in Durham, N.H., mostly duplicating the territory he had for the last four and a half years with Securities America.

“I left them; I didn’t like what I was seeing,” he says.

Ongoing relationships

He not only has a track record as a good recruiter, but he’s also known to have great ongoing relationships with Securities America advisors, according to Matthew Bassuk, senior managing director of First Allied in San Diego.

He adds that First Allied is interested in SA advisors.

“Independently of Keith, we’ve been talking to a number of Securities America advisors.”

Adam Antoniades, president of First Allied, says in a release that Mistretta’s hire fits into his company’s recent spree of hiring key talent.

“Talent is the core aspect of First Allied’s ability to outperform for our advisors…Keith is a strategic addition to our team that further underscores the depth and breadth of skill we consistently continue to add to our organization.”

First Allied recently hired Yanni Bousnakis, formerly of LPL Financial, to build a UMA platform that will allow advisors to manage assets on a discretionary basis. See: First Allied pushes the advisory envelope with hire of LPL executive.

It hired Matthew McGinness, a well-regarded industry consultant, to help add more RIA custodians to the company’s platform and assist advisors in honing their business models. He is Bousnakis’ boss.

Mistretta likes his new job because he believes that its programs, production per rep and reputation will make his recruiting job easier.

Mistretta says First Allied is unusual in its support of advisors who want to build a high net worth business. The company holds client prospecting dinners where it finds all the affluent prospective diners and also supplies subject matter experts to speak.

Highest gross revenues

It has 900 reps, and the highest gross revenues per rep of any broker-dealer, according the Financial Advisor magazine 2010 survey.

“Advisors basically just have to show up,” Bassuk says.

First Allied also invests heavily in having practice management, marketing help and help establishing a niche.

Mistretta believes that there are scores of Securities America’s 1,800 advisors who might eventually come over, though he’ll have to bide his time because of a one-year non-compete agreement with his former employer.

Former LPL rep

Mistretta was himself as advisor for 8 years with A.G. Edwards as a full-service broker and LPL Financial for 10 years as an independent. For the last 11 years, he has been a recruiter with, successively, Sun America, Capital Analysts and Securities America.

He’d previously tried to get a job with First Allied, he says. When one wasn’t available, he went to Securities America.

This time the position was open at just the right time.

“This is fortuitous; this is good timing for me.”

No people referenced



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