The Voices

Eric_PlainsVisionTruly Independent Eric: Eric Schwartz is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. Over 30 years ago, Schwartz acted with an inspired vision to wholeheartedly embrace the fee approach – long before the term “hybrid advisor” became an industry norm – and in turn led the industry-wide paradigm shift: the development of a hybrid model to support freedom of choice and open architecture fee and commission platforms. Intent on innovation and problem solving, Schwartz is focused on solving one of the greatest challenges facing independent advisors and the industry – business continuity and succession planning. In May 2010, he was honored by Investment Advisor magazine as one of the 30 most influential people in the business over the past 30 years.

Amy_PlainsVisionA Word With Webber: Amy Webber is President at Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. With over 25 years of experience, Amy Webber’s commitment to independent rep-advisors is demonstrated in her passion for delivering high level, personal service and leading management solutions. Her personal interest lies with continually refining the independent broker-dealer model to best support the next generation of independent advisors – including creating innovative programs such as the Cambridge Source outsourcing program and the Cambridge Next Step internship program. Webber serves as a Director for the 2014 Financial Services Institute Board (FSI), an advocacy organization for independent broker-dealers and their affiliated independent financial advisors. In May 2012, Webber was recognized as a member of the IA25 by Investment Advisor magazine and in 2011, 2010, and 2009 as one of the Top 50 in wealth management by Wealth Manager.

jim-guyA Guy’s Perspective: Jim Guy’s passion touched us all as he poured his heart and soul into Cambridge and all that we stand for in terms of our culture, values, and independence. Cambridge is very fortunate that Jim’s many years of counsel leave us all with a deep understanding for best serving Cambridge rep-advisors and their clients. His passing is a personal loss of friend and colleague, but his legacy is our ability to continue to achieve the level of success he helped create.

Jim joined Cambridge’s executive group in 1999, and served at the broker-dealer level while continuing to lead his independent practice based in Baltimore alongside his wife and business partner, Helen. In that time, Jim was a major force on the Cambridge Board of Directors and provided senior executive leadership for Cambridge’s recruiting and marketing. Jim was instrumental in the development of Cambridge’s fee-based programs, and he also focused on supporting and improving the independent rep-advisor’s business through practice management, marketing initiatives, and product services that help streamline operations, accelerate revenue growth, and build practice equity, all of which were driven by his personal and professional conviction for business continuity and succession planning.

Our hearts are very heavy with his passing, and we will miss Jim as our dear friend. His passionate blogs are reminders of his perspective, insight, and voice.

Dan_PlainsVisionSullivan Says: Dan Sullivan is Senior Vice President of Marketing. Sullivan joined Cambridge in July 2006 with over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. Since 1992, he has been president of Spectrum Financial Group, Inc., a successful Minneapolis-based firm specializing in corporate retirement plans including TPA services, investment management, and comprehensive planning for high net worth families through their Life Strategies Program. In his role as Senior Vice President of Marketing, Sullivan is particularly focused on expanding Cambridge’s practice management division to help rep-advisors build their businesses.

Barry_PlainsVisionLook Who’s Talking: Barry Schmidt serves as the Vice President of Practice Management. Schmidt has over 30 years of industry experience spanning retail and institutional markets on both coasts. He joined Cambridge in 2010 with expertise in sales, marketing, and relationship management. Schmidt leads a dedicated team of practice management and technology/efficiency consultants, all focused on the development and success of independent rep-advisors and their businesses. His additional responsibilities include the sales and marketing of Cambridge Source offerings, the Financial Institution Division, and the emerging mentoring program, Synergy Exchange. His background includes serving as a Managing Director at Advisory Data Solutions, Chief Marketing Officer at Associated Securities, and tenure as a Vice President at National Planning Holdings. Schmidt is also a former member of the NYSE Continuing Education Committee. He attended Nassau College and holds FINRA Series 7, 63, and 65 licenses.

Jeff_PlainsVisionLook Who’s Talking: Jeff Vivacqua is First Vice President of Business Strategy. With nearly 20 years of industry experience, Vivacqua has an active role in managing strategic issues for Cambridge Investment Research that affect rep-advisors including marketing, sales, operations, business development, and technology and is also responsible for developing strategic initiatives for Continuity Partners Group that address continuity, succession and acquisition needs for rep-advisors. He brings prior experience in advisor-based solutions from his executive roles at Mutual Service Corporation (LPL), the AIG Advisor Group, SunAmerica Securities, and Charles Schwab. Vivacqua earned a BS in finance from Southern Illinois University and has certificates in Personal Financial Planning and Facilitative Leadership Training programs. He holds FINRA Series 4, 7, 24, 63, 66, and 79 licenses and is a member of the Financial Services Institute (FSI).

Gabe_PlainsVisionDigitally Speaking: Gabriel Cooper has been with Cambridge since 2001 and serves as the Director of Technology Consulting with the Practice Management Technology Consulting team. He works with a variety of technologies, but websites are his area of expertise and he has been designing websites and online communities for 16 years. Cooper’s knowledge of the industry is vast due in part to his time spent in other departments at Cambridge including Operations, Compliance, IS, and Partner Support. As part of the IS and Partner Support Departments, he developed Cambridge’s Technology Consulting Program and originated the Cambridge Source Website service. He holds the Series 3, 7, 24, 53, and 66 licenses and is also a Registered Corporate Coach.

jimsilversDigitally Speaking: Jim Silvers is a Senior Technology Liaison on the Practice Management Technology Consulting Team at Cambridge. Silvers reviews proposals from IT professionals, provides additional information on Cambridge-specific technology options, explains the difference between available software options, and analyzes his clients’ processes and workflow. He also makes it a priority to keep up-to-date on mobile technology, such as smartphones and tablets. Since joining Cambridge in 2006, Silvers has held positions in Advisor Services, Practice Management, and as a registered principal in Operations. With his comprehensive technical knowledge, background, and customer service experience, he is able to consult with you about how to leverage technology in your practice in a more efficient manner. Silvers graduated with an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree in criminal justice from Indian Hills Community College and worked for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office for nine years prior to working at Cambridge. He holds FINRA Series 7, 24, and 66 licenses and has earned the Registered Corporate Coach™ designation.

Seth_PlainsVisionSeth Miller is First Vice President of Risk Management and General Counsel. Miller has been with Cambridge since 2008 and his primary focus has been on managing risk in an increasingly regulated environment. He manages all internal and external legal affairs for Cambridge along with overseeing the independent broker-dealer’s enterprise approach to risk management. Miller’s executive responsibilities also include working directly with Compliance and providing legal and regulatory support and guidance to each Cambridge department. Miller’s legal specialization includes securities and investment advisory business, corporate governance, and litigation. His prior experience includes working for the international law firm, Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. Miller earned a BS in finance and management from Iowa State University and a JD from the University of Iowa College of Law. He holds FINRA Series 7, 24, and 66 licenses and is licensed to practice law before the Iowa and Missouri state bars.

Colleen_PlainsVisionColleen Bell is the Assistant Vice President of Corporate Strategies. Bell joined Cambridge in 2006 after working as a securities examiner for the Securities and Exchange Commission. She provides strategic direction in the development and execution of innovative business strategies and leads Cambridge’s Retirement Center initiative. Bell earned a BA in business from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and holds FINRA Series 7, 24, and 66 licenses, along with the AIF® (Accredited Investment Fiduciary®) designation.