A year ago we undertook a mission to raise standards in the financial services industry and to empower investors through education and access to true fiduciary financial advice. To accomplish that mission we knew we had a lot to accomplish. We needed to bring together like-minded investment advisors, willing to operate at the highest level of professionalism; and we knew we had to create an extensive, consumer-oriented brand that represented those standards. In addition to a significant investment of our own capital, we asked advisory firms, asset managers and custodians to come together to support the mission and help fund a significant consumer education campaign.
Advisors were very supportive of Advizent, with more that 140 firms, representing more than $150 billion in client assets committing to an annual audit of their firm’s fiduciary practices and to becoming Advizent members. A small number of asset managers and custodians were also in favor of our efforts. However, we ultimately could not reach the aggressive funding goals we deemed necessary to effectively reach a large number of investors and launch a meaningful brand.
Therefore, despite our deep and continued commitment to the cause, after much consideration, we have concluded that we simply are not comfortable raising investor dollars or continuing to fund the effort personally without more significant advisor and industry support. As such, Advizent will suspend operations on March 30, 2013.
Albert Einstein once said, “One should not pursue goals that are easily achieved. One must develop an instinct for what one can barely achieve through one’s greatest efforts.” We always knew that we’d set lofty goals for a worthwhile mission and we are proud of the effort we put forth at Advizent to support investors and true fiduciary advisors. More than anything, we are extremely grateful for our friends and colleagues across the financial services industry who shared our enthusiasm for Advizent and who continue to uphold the highest standards.
We wish our peers the best of success and, above all, we hope consumers will ultimately benefit from needed improvement in our industry.
All the best,
Charles Goldman & Steve Lockshin