The independent broker/dealer industry just added a little muscle to its lobbying punch. The Financial Services Institute, an IBD trade group, announced Monday the launch of an “advocacy” app that will give members access to instant “calls-to-action” on critical industry issues, real-time news alerts, current petitions relative to different states, a listing of elected officials and a listing of FSI’s advocacy priorities, as well as “social media interaction,” among other things. The FSI says it’s the first in the industry to roll out anything of the sort.
“We are excited to bring the first advocacy app in our industry to our members and valued sponsors,” said FSI President & CEO Dale Brown. “With the ever-increasing need to not only advocate but to do so at a moment’s notice, going mobile is critical to success. FSI has worked diligently this year to improve our members’ virtual experience through a new website homepage, a revamped Advocacy Action Center and a rapidly growing social media presence.”
The Investment Adviser Association does not have an "app" but it encourages member advocacy in other ways. "We communicate on a regular basis with our membership and ask them to convey their concerns to Capitol Hill," says David Tittsworth, executive director of the IAA. "As of last week, we had tracked more than 550 email communications sent to Capitol Hill during the past month or so. At our Lobbying Day last Thursday, our members had about 70 in-person meetings on Capitol Hill with members and/or staff. We know that some of our members contact their elected officials in other ways, including snail mail and personal calls or meetings."
The FSI is an active lobbyist in Washington. Last week, the group testified before Congress about proposed legislation that would designate an SRO to govern the investment adviser industry. The week before, it sent an email to 35,000 members, asking them to weigh in with their local member of Congress in support of the SRO idea. In April, the FSI urged Illinois members to encourage their senators to vote against a bill that would, in effect, require public school districts to eliminate investment options in their 403(b) plans. These kinds of calls to action will now be available as well through the app.