Securities America, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. (NYSE MKT: LTS), named Laura Southeard as the Assistant of the Year for 2014.
Southeard is a client services associate at Kelley & Mullis Wealth Management Inc. in Vestavia Hills, Ala. She will be honored at Securities America’s Connect at J.W. Marriot in Austin, Texas, June 6-9, 2015.
To qualify, assistants must be nominated by a Securities America advisor, have a minimum of two years’ experience in the financial services industry and, if securities licensed, have a clean compliance record. This top assistant is also selected based on specific instances of service above and beyond expectations to clients, advisors and the firm; demonstrated leadership abilities; and personal and professional development.
With just three years of industry experience, Southeard has earned her Series 6 securities license, passed a state insurance exam, been appointed to Securities America’s Sales Assistant Advisory Board and streamlined her firm – all initiatives she took on herself.
“Laura has always been a go-getter but has more than exceeded my expectations in every area of customer support and service,” said Michael Mullis, managing partner at Kelley & Mullis Wealth Management Inc. “She is always wanting to go the extra mile for clients and in making each and every process more efficient. The item I am most impressed with is initiating and completing the project for the firm to go paperless.”
Southeard earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a professional option in Supply Chain Management from Auburn University.
Securities America believes in fully developing the potential of sales assistants. There are a number of events and training opportunities available:
- Assistant University – a two-day conference designed to increase knowledge of technology, compliance, operations and practice management for all levels of support staff
- Sales Assistant Advisory Board – a group of 10 assistants, nominated by advisors and selected by Securities America, that provides suggestions and feedback on company improvements
- Assistant Certification – a web-based training program that covers industry, product and firm-specific topics in a cost-effective and convenient format
- AssistantXpert – a listserv created specifically for assistants to provide online peer support and knowledge sharing
- Fast Track – free daily training sessions on Securities America’s technology and procedures that are ideal for assistants and office managers
- New Assistant Orientation – a guide containing information every support staff member should know
- National Conference – an annual educational event that features a training track specifically tailored to assistants
About Securities America
Securities America is one of the nation’s largest independent broker-dealers with more than 1,800 independent advisors and $50 billion in client assets.
Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc., an SEC Registered Investment Advisory Firm. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC.