HOLBROOK, N.Y. (Sept. 9, 2020)—American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (AP), an independent broker/dealer that serves affiliated financial advisors nationwide, is proud to announce that it has been named Broker-Dealer of the Year in 2020 by Investment Advisor magazine for its sixth consecutive year. It was 30 years ago that Investment Advisor magazine’s editorial staff began inviting registered representatives of independent broker/dealers (B/Ds) to rate their B/D in 15 distinct categories. The B/Ds that receive the highest average rating from their affiliated professionals are named Broker-Dealers of the Year in four divisions based on their number of producing representatives. AP won Division III, gaining top votes in the category of B/Ds with 500 – 999 producing advisors.
“We are extremely proud to have earned this esteemed recognition six years in a row,” states American Portfolios CEO Lon T. Dolber. “2020 has tested us, but due—in large part—to a deeply imbedded culture of service excellence, we are fortunate to have been able to rise to the unique challenges this remarkable year has presented. A digital transformation in recent years to provide staff members with mobile workstations that could work securely in the cloud has enabled AP to be more connected than ever with our customers in both normal and trying times. It is this unrelenting insistence to challenge ourselves which ensures our affiliated investment professionals and their associates have the best financial service systems, tools, products, platforms and processes their disposal so they can better serve an investing public facing their own set of unique challenges.”
The announcement of AP’s Division III 2020 Broker-Dealer of the Year Award was formally made in the September issue of Investment Advisor magazine, recently distributed to its readers this past week. “After tallying votes from over 1,300 independent financial advisors, Investment Advisor is proud to recognize the 2020 Broker-Dealers of the Year, including American Portfolios,” said Janet Levaux, editor-in-chief of Investment Advisor and ThinkAdvisor. “The winners have shown—both before and during the pandemic—the many powerful ways they go the extra mile to best support their advisors.”
In addition to being named B/D of the Year by Investment Advisor magazine, AP has been named one of the Best Companies to Work for in New York by the New York State Society for Human Resources Management (NYS-SHRM) and the Best Companies Group (BCG) for the fifth consecutive year, coming in at No. 3 for 2020, as well as one of the Top Long Island Workplaces for 2018 and 2019 by Newsday. The firm was also recently named a finalist in three separate categories for the 2020 WealthManagement.com Industry Awards, preceded by one nomination the previous year.
AP attributes the majority of its success to its strong commitment to support its valued home office staff who work together to provide top-notch customer service for its more than 850 independent investment professionals, along with their support staff. Deemed an essential business by the Department of Homeland Security, AP’s quick response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic ensured that 95 percent of its employees were transitioned to remote working environments to ensure their safety, as well as that of the 5 percent of employees who remained at AP headquarters to handle vital on-site processes while adhering to implemented health and safety protocols based on guidelines from the CDC. To date, the majority of the firm’s home office staff continue to work in a remote environment while the firm strictly tests its COVID-19 back-to-work plan. Despite these radical changes to the firm’s structural corporate environment, the firm has seen an increase in productivity and no interruption of service.
Continuously setting the bar higher, AP put in motion meaningful enhancements to its already highly-regarded customer service support and offerings to satisfy the needs of its affiliated investment professionals in serving an ever-more demanding investing public. Virtual Administrative Services (VAS), a subscription-based service that pairs advisors to a dedicated assistant so they’re able to better focus on their clients, was expanded to include call service which affords participating advisors with a higher level of back office support. Since its initial rollout, VAS has seen a steady surge in advisor adoption. AP also introduced BlueDock, a digital prospecting tool for acquiring new clients and business that streamlines both practice management and back office functions by engaging prospective and existing clients in the data-gathering process, thereby creating scale in an investment professional’s practice to dedicate more time for fostering new client relationships and strengthening existing ones.
Similarly, the firm has always put a great deal of emphasis on building strong proprietary technology, including its business processing and supervisory Web service platform, STARS; its highly-developed and custom-built advisory technology platform; and HomePort, a platform which brings together all of AP’s technology platforms so investment professionals may conduct their day-to-day business in an efficient, intuitive and user-friendly manner. AP’s proprietary technology is consistently enhanced and improved through the development of value-added features and extended levels of service based on feedback from AP’s affiliated investment professionals and their associates in the field. In the first quarter of 2020, AP unveiled an enhanced update of its exclusive FinTech tool, Advisor Dashboard, which was designed by AP advisors for AP advisors. The new Advisor Dashboard provides AP advisors a dynamic view of their businesses, affording them the increased ability to measure their operations by giving them a hierarchical, at-a-glance overview of the health of their practices. In conjunction with AP’s various tech rollouts and enhancements is the firm’s Going Green initiative, a series of steps advisors and investors can take to go paperless using e-delivery and e-signature at various end-customer entry points before or after the account opening process. To that end, AP’s Unified Managed Account (UMA)—Unified Solutions, which allows for the consolidation of a wide range of investment products to be held in a single investment account—further aids AP’s Going Green initiative.
Additionally, there is AP’s Nine Points on the American Portfolios Advisory Platform, which is comprised of its advisor- and institutionally-managed programs, including Nine Points Investment Management (NPIM)—an alternative asset management solution and resource providing research, due diligence, product support and in-house model management. Since its inception, NPIM has reached $233 million in the firm’s investment portfolios. NPIM also launched the individual fixed income product suite, which includes investment grade corporate and municipal bonds, as well as short duration CDs and Treasury securities; and the ThemeCatcher ETF strategy, a quantitative tactical portfolio that invests in thematic ETFs using momentum analysis.
As always, the firm remains committed to providing peer-to-peer networking and business building opportunities through a strategically planned series of meetings. With best practices outreach for its affiliated advisors through its business development team and 2020 Connections Tour, the independent broker/dealer looks forward to hosting its annual national conference, Connections 2020, bringing together affiliated colleagues, key AP staff members and business partners in a virtual format to engage in a full agenda of valued-added meetings and networking opportunities to further learn from one another. Positioned as an educational and business conference, Connections 2020 is set to take place online from Oct. 21 – 23. In addition to a wealth of practice management offerings and valuable focus partner symposiums, this annual event will feature compelling keynote addresses by decorated fighter pilot and motivational speaker Lt. Col. Waldo Waldman; IRA distribution expert, professional speaker, television personality and best-selling author Ed Slott; business-oriented motivational speaker Dr. Kevin Elko; and author, coach and master communicator AmyK.
The firm holds itself responsible not only for its investment professionals who serve the investing public, but also to the community-at-large with its active involvement in many socially responsible endeavors involving veterans, individuals with disabilities, mentoring and education, and health and well-being. AP is proud to support and sponsor such non-profit organizations as World T.E.A.M. (WT), The Center for Discovery (TCFD), Virtual Enterprises International (VEI), Life Arts, Inc., The Butterfly Effect Project (BEP), Long Island Cares (LIC) and Honor Flight Long Island (HFLI), to name a few.
About American Portfolios
Headquartered in Holbrook, N.Y., American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (APFS) is a full-service, independent broker/dealer and member firm of FINRA and SIPC, offering a complete range of financial services, including personal financial and retirement planning, securities trading, mutual funds, access to investment research, long-term care planning, insurance products and tax-free investing. Fee-based asset management is offered through its sister subsidiary, American Portfolios Advisors, Inc., (APA), an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Both entities, along with technology entity American Portfolios Advisory Solutions, LLC, collectively reside under the legal entity American Portfolios Holdings, Inc. (APH). Full-service securities brokerage is available through a clearing firm relationship with Pershing, LLC, a BNY Mellon firm, the securities of which are held on a fully disclosed basis. The company currently supports 861 independent investment professionals—inclusive of registered assistants—and more than 375 non-registered associates, located in 403 branch locations throughout the nation. It was named Broker-Dealer of the Year* (Division III) by Investment Advisor magazine for six consecutive years (2015-2020); a 2019 and 2020 WealthManagement.com Industry Award Finalist in multiple categories**; one of the Best Companies to Work for in the state of New York for five consecutive years (2016-2020) by the New York State Society for Human Resources Management (NYS-SHRM) and the Best Companies Group (BCG); and one of the Top Long Island Workplaces for 2018 and 2019 by Newsday.
* Based on a poll of registered representatives conducted by Investment Advisor magazine. Broker/dealers rated highest by their representatives are awarded “Broker/Dealer (B/D) of the Year.”
** Wealthmanagement.com Industry Award finalists are selected by a panel of independent judges made up of subject matter experts in the industry. Award is based on support provided to AP’s affiliated people and does not reflect public customers nor their account performance.