The Register | May-June 2018
Jeffrey Concepcion, RFC® Founder and CEO, Stratos Wealth Partners, launched Stratos Wealth Partners in November of 2008 to fulfill a growing need among experienced, sophisticated advisors and their accomplished clients. Jeff, like many others, had become increasingly dissatisfied with existing brokerage models that made it more and more difficult for advisors to place their clients’ interests first… Thus is the beginning story of Stratos and Jeff Concepcion.
The IARFC looks for opportunities to partner and support consultants by presenting options to help these individuals achieve their fullest potential. Sometimes that mindset is outside the “norm” and requires support from many places. Per Jeff… “The Stratos Wealth Management Corporate Services are designed to help you operate a smarter, stronger business while meeting competitive challenges and maximizing your profit potential.”
Register: How does your infrastructure helps consultants focus on their core competency)?
Jeff: Most advisors’ passion and competency intersect at client acquisition, relationship management, and oftentimes at a lesser degree, financial planning & asset management. Few advisors have the knowledge or experience necessary to launch an independent practice as it relates to regulatory and compliance issues, real estate, HR, benefits, technology and vendor relations. The infrastructure offered by Stratos allows advisors to spend time doing the things they enjoy while providing a high level of support in other non-core, but essential, functions.
Register: How do you help consultants establish themselves as independent advisors?
Jeff: Advisors have the option to do business as Stratos Wealth Partners or under their own company name, as an approved DBA. In either case, Stratos provides one on one marketing support to help our advisors with branding and marketing. From designing logos and brochures to social media and website development, we assist with establishing their presence and promoting their brand. We also negotiate discounts with third-party marketing and technology resources for specialized services our advisors need. Our dedicated marketing team will consult on targeted marketing efforts and provide compliance approved, ghostwritten communications advisors may send to clients and prospects, or post to social media as their own.
Register: Explain how Stratos is Advisor or Client Centric.
Jeff: Stratos was founded by advisors, to serve advisors, and to help facilitate the successful management of their businesses. More than 90% of Stratos equity is owned by licensed/affiliated advisors who operate their business within the Stratos network. While we’ve always been driven by advisor input, we recently formed an Advisor Council to create a more formalized way form them to influence our current and future direction.
Register: Why do you feel your method of delivering a “truly elevated wealth management experience” has been successful?
Jeff: Building the infrastructure and having resources available are the foundation of offering a quality experience. It’s an organization’s ability to deliver on those promises that matters most. In today’s business world, simply doing what you say you’re going to do creates good will. Going above and beyond that creates loyal and committed partners. In all cases, even to the detriment to our own organization, we always strive to be fair and balanced in our partnership with our advisors.
Register: How do you see Stratos and the IARFC working together?
Jeff: The barrier to entry to be a financial advisor today is minimal. Organizations like IARFC help to create a higher standard of credentials for practicing advisors. I’m hopeful that as our organizations get to know each other better, that more of our partners will seek to elevate their deliverables through both the accreditation and education offered by IARFC. In an effort to reciprocate, I look forward to personally being involved and offering all available Stratos resources to support the IARFC’s continued success.
Register: What do you see is the value of the IARFC and the designations (Registered Financial Consultant, RFC® and the Master Registered Financial Consultant, MRFC) we offer? How can Stratos advisors utilize these designations?
Jeff: Both designations are a way for our advisors to set themselves apart. The continuing education requirement demonstrates a commitment to constant development to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape of financial advice. The value of an international organization awarding an “Ethics Approved” status to members meeting those requirements is another differentiating factor that is more relevant now than ever. These elements of membership should be of great importance to clients as they look for an accredited advisor they can trust. Stratos maintains a robust financial planning department that offers our advisors a resource for financial plans and plan reviews, whether or not the advisor is a CFP®. We are looking forward to adding the IARFC as an additional resource for this area of their practice as many of the IARFC member benefits are focused on planning. Earning either the RFC® or newly accredited MRFC designations will also provide many Stratos advisors the ability to increase their hourly consulting fees by meeting the additional designation requirement.
*Jeff Concepcion is not affiliated with LPL Financial.
LInk International Association of Registered Financial Consultants IARFC
Link to Online Publication https://www.iarfc.org/docs/register/2018/RegisterVol19Iss3.pdf
Contact: 866.553.9882 firstname.lastname@example.org stratoswealthpartners.com