Wall Street is taking on a new shape.
The financial services industry is fragmented. Larger firms continue to deal with the fall-out of the past seven years, looking for ways to cut costs while navigating the every-changing regulatory and compliance rules and regulations. These trends have created new opportunities for smaller, more nimble, client-focused firms to enter the market and thrive. International Assets Advisory is a full-service financial services and Fintech firm with three operating segments: International Asses Advisory (IAA), a brokerage firm, International Assets Investment Management, a registered investment advisor, and IAA Shared Services, a business services platform.
Since the financial crisis, the independent broker dealer sector has been a hotbed for consolidation. The number of firms registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has declined to 3,957 from 4,578 in 2010 due in large part to shrinking margins and increased compliance costs.
IAA believes the relative instability in the market is creating an environment favorable to attracting advisors that are being challenged to growth their business because their present firms have done little to differentiate. IAA intends to be the firm of choice for entrepreneurial financial advisors, RIAs and independent broker dealers seeking to more efficiently scale their business. Leveraging IAA Shared Services and our technology-driven infrastructure, IAA will offer the scale of larger firms without the unmitigated complexity and associated high-overhead costs.
The recruitment market is heating up. IBDs are expected to see an increase from potential recruits at the large wirehouses, many of which are seeing retention packaged signed during the financial crisis run their course, creating potential to move. Other advisers are reportedly growing weary of constant pressure to cross-sell products such as credit cards and mortgages managed by the bank. IBDs represent an attractive alternative for advisors that want more freedom to manage their business as they see fit.
Independent broker-dealers are facing a number of regulatory changes over the next 12-24 months which are expected to dramatically increase business costs, in addition to costs of updating technology. Volatility is another factor making it harder for firms to predict revenue. The result is that there are an increasing number of broker-dealers on the market, creating downward pressure, which is good for buyers.
We are leveraging our existing business and shared services through a fully-integrated technology platform (“IAA Access”) which will enable us to more seamlessly integrate new products and services to our business and streamline the workflow for our reps. This transition to a Fintech platform is a powerful tool for attracting high-quality financial advisors and registered investment advisors seeking to scale their business more efficiently and cost- effectively.
Through continued focus on developing the IAA Access Fintech platform, we will benefit from economies of efficiency and scale enabled by streamlining and standardizing back-end office functions and related business services, as well as unlocking access to more products to our sales force.
Ed Cofrancesco | President & CEO
Ed is responsible for the management and direction of Pecunia and its operating businesses. He is an alumnus of Raymond James, Lehman Brothers, Security Pacific Bank and Shearson American Express. He has 35 years’ experience in all phases of the securities industry. Ed has also been a Director, Executive Vice President and COO of International Assets Holding Corporation, a NASDAQ-listed financial services holding company, where he rebuilt the Equity Trading Department and implemented the firm’s equity trading and sales strategies. In addition, he developed operations to support new business lines including: Fixed Income, Asset Management, Precious Metals and Foreign Exchange divisions. At Raymond James, Ed started the International Trading and Operations Departments. He was responsible for oversight over International Equity, OTC ADR and Foreign Exchange Trading with more than 50,000 retail and institutional trades per annum across more than 25 markets and gross revenues of $20 million. Ed holds Series 4, 7, 24, 55 and 63 licenses and has been a Trustee of a mutual fund.
Sheri M. Cuff | Chief Administrative Officer and Managing Partner
Sheri is responsible for operations and sales supervision over the firm. She began her career with a large wirehouse firm in Las Colinas, Texas. After relocating to Orlando in 1988 she joined IAA and served as both Operations and Administrative Manager before becoming Vice President/Director of Operations in 1998. During that time she acquired her Financial and Operations Principal License and was named FINOP responsible for the operations supervision and record keeping. Additionally, she served as Treasurer for an open-end mutual fund that was launched with more than $50 million in assets and was directly responsible for oversight of the firm operations on both the trading and retail private client group level. Sheri’s responsibilities as a corporate office included direct involvement of the administration and compliance of the firm during the time it was a publicly held company. She holds Series 24, 7, 63 and 27 licenses.
Keith Gregg | Chief Strategy Officer
Keith brings nearly three decades of executive leadership and financial services experience to IAA. Prior to joining IAA, he served as President & CEO of several wealth management and securities brokerage firms, as well as President and Head of U.S. Distribution of Aequitas Capital Partners. His extensive experience and success as an entrepreneur, financial advisor, business operator and c-level executive have provided a track record of success and accomplishments for GE Capital, Wachovia Securities and Prudential Investments. Keith is the former Chairman of the Wealth Advisor Institute and a member of several industry associates including SIFMA, FSI, AAIP, Advisor Forum and Wealth Counsel. In addition, Keith authored “Do Well by Doing Good” – The Complete Guide to Charitable Remainder Trusts (Precept Press 1996). He holds Series 7, 24, 63 and 65 licenses, and is a graduate of the Securities Industry Institute at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School. He honorably served in the United States Marine Corps and is recipient of the distinguished Presidential Service Award from President Ronald Reagan while serving aboard Marine One.
David Weinberger | CFO, COO and CTO
Over the course of his career, David has held positions as President, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Compliance Officer, Municipal Bond Principal and Registered Options Principal. He has spent most of his 19 years in the industry dealing with compliance, financial, internal controls and supervisory issues that affect small firms. He has extensive experience in a variety of products including equities, fixed income, annuities, private placements, IPO’s and structured products. David currently serves as FINRA District 7 small firm Committee Member and has served as a FINRA Hearing Panelist. He has a degree in Accounting from Florida Atlantic University and holds Series 4, 7, 24, 27, 53, 55, 63 and 66 licenses.
Nanci Lotvin | Chief Compliance Officer
During the past twenty years, Nanci has served as senior management for several broker/dealers in the Northeast. Positions included COO, CCO and CFO. She has extensive industry experience and knowledge, having developed and maintained policies and procedures based on regulatory requirements, industry best practices, risk assessment reviews, anti-money laundering programs and established internal controls. Nanci holds Series 7, 9, 10, 27, 55 and 64 licenses, in addition to a Life, Accident, Health and Variable Life/Variable Annuity License. She is also a Notary Public.
Kevin Carreno | General Counsel and Chief Risk Officer
Kevin joined IAA in 2010. He has more than 25 years’ experience as a lawyer in private practice, in-house counsel with a major brokerage firm and in a variety of senior management positions. From 2000 through 2005, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Raymond James Investment Services, an FSA-regulated firm in London. As lawyer in private practice, he has represented financial services firms and individuals in regulatory proceedings and dispute resolution, and has served as an adviser and expert witness on legal and regulatory matters. In addition, Kevin has served as an independent consultant in settled regulatory proceedings with the SEC and FINRA. He is responsible for the overall management of the firm’s operational risk management and legal functions. He also serves as the legal adviser to the Company’s management and affiliated representatives. In the Summer of 2012, Kevin was elected to the small member’s seat on the Board of Governors of FINRA. He holds Series 4, 7, 24, 53 and 66 licenses.
Ann K. Moore | National Sales Manager
Ann oversees IAA’s recruiting, hiring committee, transitioning teams and marketing department. She began her career in 1988 as underwriter for a large insurance company in Salt Lake City. After relocating to Orland in 2002, she joined eFloorTrade, LLC, a boutique commodity brokerage firm as an Associated Person specializing in compliance. In 2005, she was promoted to Chief Compliance Officer. In May, 2008, Ann joined IAA and shortly thereafter became Chief Compliance Officer. In May 2014, she was promoted to National Sales Manager, where she has invigorated the firm’s recruiting efforts to attract wire-house, regional RIAs, and fee-only advisors to IAA’s independent network. Ann is also a member of IAA’s Product Review Committee. She holds Series 3, 7, 24, 30 and 70 licenses. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Brigham Young University.