FSI Chair Jamie Price on Leadership and Independence

March 20, 2024

Jamie Price is a relatively new independent financial services industry entrant compared to many of our previous Board Chairs. He became CEO of Osaic (the former Advisor Group) about seven years ago after previously working in the wirehouse world, where he served in various executive positions.

Undoubtedly, that experience has colored the way he views independence. It not only made him appreciate the vital role our industry plays for millions of investors across the country but also it has brought added meaning to his role as the FSI Board Chair in 2024.

FSIVoice had the opportunity to speak with him recently. Here’s a sampling of what we discussed.

FSIVoice: During OneVoice, you alluded to your time working in the wirehouse world. How did that experience influence your perspective now that you are a leader in the independent industry?

Price: Plenty. I mentioned this during my opening remarks at OneVoice: When I was at my last position before entering the independent space, we spent most of our time attempting to go upmarket, focusing on big money centers like Miami, Los Angeles and New York in an effort to win over wealthy investors. Of course, we have advisors at Osaic who serve the high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth segments, and other independent firms do, too. But by and large, my firm, and most FSI members, are serving the mass affluent, many of whom do not live in or near big cities. That’s a big reason why the independent contractor issue is so important. Many of our financial advisor members live in remote communities where the only way many families can access advice is through them. When the Department of Labor issues rules that could make independent advisors employers of their firms, those families could lose that access.

FSIVoice: What’s the biggest difference between the advisors you worked with previously and FSI members?

Price: To be clear, all good advisors care deeply about their clients. It doesn’t matter what kind of business model they have. But the big difference is that our members are much more likely to embrace their local communities. Whereas wirehouse advisors frequently work with clients who live hundreds of miles from them, our advisors typically live within a 50-mile radius of their clients. And because those clients are local to them and more mass affluent, it almost, by default, makes the advisor an integral part of their town. Moreover, beyond just providing financial advice, our members are far more likely to give back, whether it’s donating time or money to charity or doing volunteer work at schools, churches or some other local non-profit organization. Do wirehouses 

have advisors who are community minded? Absolutely. But not to the extent that I’ve witnessed within our membership and certainly not in suburban or even rural areas, where time, talent and treasure can make a more significant difference. 

FSIVoice: FSI has long embraced a strategy of constructive engagement regarding advocacy. Why is this so important, especially now as the industry faces several regulatory threats?

Price: When we disagree with or have a different perspective than regulators, would it feel therapeutic to lash out and become verbal bomb throwers? Maybe. Would we get more attention from the press? Likely. But in terms of getting the results our members need, I’m not sure what that would accomplish other than alienating the very folks we need to build relationships with to get things done. We want a regulatory environment that works well for everyone – for firms, for advisors and for end investors. That can only happen when we have a seat at the table, and Dale and his team have earned that seat by being respectful when we have disagreements and always seeking to offer constructive feedback. That’s partly why, despite the challenges our industry faces, I am so optimistic about the future – FSI has the approach and the ability to make a difference.

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