Embracing Opportunities and Advancing Independent Financial Services

June 29, 2023

The good news about 2023 so far is that stocks have largely enjoyed a meaningful rebound after last year’s steep sellout. The not-so-good news is that obstacles remain, thanks to elevated inflation and rising interest rates.   

These are enormous challenges for millions of Main Street Americans nationwide, not to mention thousands of business owners trying to stay afloat. To navigate this landscape, they will need to rely on you – which is why the work of independent financial advisors and firms remains so important. 

It underscores the fact that no matter the environment or situation, there will always be a need for affordable professional financial advice and services. Thank you for everything you have done and will continue to do for your clients.   

Independent Contractor Update 

To that end, our advocacy team remains focused on the Department of Labor as the agency readies to release a final independent contractor rule that could disrupt how you do business and serve clients. It’s unclear when the rule will be released, though we expect it to be sometime this summer.  

Complicating the timing is that Julie Su’s nomination to be the next Labor Secretary is on tenuous ground. As of now, it’s questionable whether she has enough support to win confirmation, with many senators expressing skepticism about anyone willing to overhaul well-established independent contractor rules. Until a vote does happen – and a new secretary is confirmed – it seems unlikely the DOL will introduce a final rule. However, we remain ready to defend our industry and independent advisors’ businesses whenever the rule is released or if a state-level proposal arises. 

Upcoming Events  

Meanwhile, we have two exciting events slated for later this summer that I hope you will consider attending. The first is the New York Regional Roundtable in New York City on July 25. Attendees will benefit from an insightful discussion on next-gen recruitment and retention. Our Next-Gen Advisor Task Force has come up with a tailored agenda that will provide a detailed exploration of the diverse ways in which to engage younger generations of advisors, clients and staff. 

The other is FSI Forum & Capitol Hill Day, scheduled for Washington, D.C. on September 18 – 20. For the first time since 2019, this combined event will take place in person. You not only have the opportunity to hear emerging policies and trends impacting our industry, but you’ll also get to walk the halls of the Capitol as a citizen advocate for the day. 

In Memoriam  

Finally, I must end on a sad note. Earlier this year, we lost a longtime member and friend, Steve Chipman, who passed away unexpectedly in April. Steve was President of Transamerica Financial Advisors and a former FSI board member. 

He was a dedicated advocate for our industry and strong supporter of FSI’s mission. My condolences go out to Steve’s family, the team at Transamerica and the many people in our industry he touched throughout his life. 

Thank you for your continued support and engagement. 


Dale E. Brown, CAE
President & CEO
Financial Services Institute

FSI Membership