Getting to Trust

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Never mind the State of the Union speech. Last week two RIA leaders made important remarks illustrating the public’s distrust of financial services. TD Ameritrade’s (TDA) president and CEO, Tim Hockey, and Pershing Advisor Solutions CEO, Mark Tibergien addressed trust at different forums in different ways.

Hockey set policy at his LINC conference when he stated TDA will not compete with its 7,000 RIAs. Tibergien spoke bluntly on what’s keeping new talent out of the industry in a Linkedin interview. He cited three false perceptions that hurt industry recruitment: you needed to study finance; you need to sell; and the industry is “corrupt.”

“You hear those words repeated on social media and people develop this image and you have the Gordon Gekko’s of the world reinforce this image,” he explained. The corrosive influence of bad behavior by high-profile firms on the search for talent in the RIA industry is clear, according to Tibergien.

Corruption implies criminal behavior. According to the Oxford English dictionary, it is “dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.”

Tibergien is clearly frustrated by the injustice. “The vast majority of people [in the advisory industry] are true and honest and ethical and good people and they are functioning in a way that is making a difference in peoples’ lives,” he said. “We have to somehow control the narrative and get people thinking differently.”