Iowa Insurer’s New RIA Lures Carson Wealth Advisor
Farm Bureau Financial Services, a West Des Moines, Iowa-based insurance company that started a full-service broker-dealer and an affiliated RIA last year, has hired its biggest producer to date.
Frigon, who is based in Dodge City, Kansas, and has a law degree with a specialty in tax, spent the first 25 years of her wealth management career affiliated with LPL.
Farm Bureau agents will introduce her to insurance customers who can receive “disruptive” wealth management services that combine financial planning and risk management with lower-than-typical fees, she said about her decision to join the fledgling employee-based brokerage effort.
Only about 2% of Farm Bureau’s “client members” have brokerage or advisory accounts, said Mat Gleason, head of FBL Marketing Services, LLC, the broker-dealer, and of FBL Wealth Management, the RIA that became operative in January. He expects growth as he revs up advisor hiring, aiming to expand to 150 wealth managers by 2021 from 13 today.
“We’ve got about 540,000 client members and want to make sure that we have a local resource for those those clients,” he said. The idea is to have wealth experts in each of the insurer’s local markets in eight midwestern and western states.
The insurer’s 1,700 agents will get referral fees and full production credit for some wealth-related activities, he said, while advisors are paid off a grid that tops out at 55%, according to Gleason. That is higher than many wirehouse “grids” that offer up to around 50% of trailing-12 production, but lower than independent firms where advisors are responsible for their own business expenses. As an employee broker-dealer, FBL provides furnished offices and staff and will also cover all transfer costs for new recruits, he said.
Farm Bureau Financial Services was founded in 1939 when the state Farm Bureau founded Iowa Farm mutual insurance company to meet the needs of Iowa farmers and ranchers, and now sells auto, home and property insurance in eight states and life insurance in 14 states. Clients have to be members of the state Farm Bureau Federation to purchase property and casualty insurance products.
In June, the firm hired Bryce Andersen, who joined from Wells Fargo Advisors in South Dakota and had earlier worked for seven years at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in New Mexico.