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Member Spotlight

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  • 10/09/2018 10:29 AM | Anonymous



    We are speaking today with Laura Hawley, President of Allen & Company of Florida, Inc.

    Laura, please tell us a little bit about yourself.

    I was raised in Elyria, Ohio; went to college at Florida Southern College; and joined Allen & Company in 1983, the week after graduation from FSC.

    How long have your served as President of Allen & Company?

    I have been on the Allen & Company Board for over 15 years and have served as Chairman of our Executive Committee for over 10 years. I became President earlier this year.

    How hectic is a day in the life of the President of Florida’s oldest securities firm, and what does it involve?

    No two days are the same! We are indeed the oldest securities firm (est. 1932), but anyone who has spent some time in the securities industry can attest to the vast changes and challenges of the business. I am very fortunate to be part of a highly engaged leadership team that works so well together. Our number one goal is to enhance the client experience which we accomplish by recruiting & retaining excellent advisors and managing risk in an environment of increasing regulatory demands. We must also keep pace with technology, balancing the needs/wants of advisors/clients relative to the cost/benefit of new technology, all of which make for full and exciting days!

    I know you're a member of the FSDA Scholarship Committee. Tell us a little bit about what that committee does.

    The FSDA is passionate about education, therefore The O’Bannon M. Cook FSDA Investment in the Future Scholarship Program was established to recognize and assist employees and their immediate family members of FSDA members who have demonstrated academic achievement, leadership skills and commitment to service, along with an interest in pursuing a career in the securities industry or business in general. There are two scholarships awarded each calendar year.

    Why is it important for Allen & Company to be a member of the FSDA?

    We have been members for over 50 years and have experienced the enormous transition in the securities industry. The FSDA’s role as a champion for the Florida financial services industry has grown considerably over the years, and now focuses on protecting the community of investors that we serve through legislative activities, educational outreach programs for consumers and advisors, and financial literacy education for students.

    I know that you are very involved with the Lakeland, Florida, community. Please tell us a little bit about how you give back to your community and why that is important to you.

    Giving back to the community is just what we do at Allen & Company. Our associates serve on over 40 different boards. I have served on several non-profit and municipal (City of Lakeland) boards throughout the years. My passion is health and education within our community. I am currently Chairman of Lakeland Regional Health and advisor to the Barney Barnett School of Business with Florida Southern College. I also have taught financial literacy to students of all ages for on behalf of the FSDA and Junior Achievement, and I am also a director for the Give Well Community Foundation of Lakeland.

    I also know that you have a weekly radio program, which is broadcast on a station in Lakeland. Tell us a little bit about the program and how you got involved with radio.

    As an educator at heart, I believe that knowledge is power regardless of your age. “Dollars & Sense” has been on the air (live) for more than 25 years, each week discussing different financial topics, planning strategies and global/community issues with guests from Oprah Winfrey’s life coach, bestselling authors, financial gurus, Former President Mary Robinson (Ireland’s first female President) and co-hosts from Allen & Company. It has been deeply gratifying.

    Laura, thanks for taking time to speak with us today.

  • 09/06/2018 2:20 PM | Anonymous

    2018, September - MEMBER SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW: Daniel Newman


    We are speaking today with Daniel Newman, a partner with the law firm of Nelson Mullins Broad and Cassel in Miami, Florida. Dan currently is secretary of FSDA.

    Dan, please tell us a little bit about yourself.

    I was raised in Roslyn, New York and attended college at The George Washington University, graduating with a B.B.A. majoring in Finance. I received my JD from the University of Miami School of Law. I am a Partner at the law firm of Nelson Mullins Broad and Cassel. Prior to joining my current firm in 2005, I was at the law firm of Tew Cardenas, and prior to that I was an attorney in the Division of the Enforcement of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

    How would you describe your law practice?

    I am a litigator and a problem solver. I regularly represent entities and individuals in a variety of business and securities-related issues. My practice primarily consists of 1) securities litigation in federal and state courts and in arbitration; 2) securities regulatory advice and representation; and 3) business litigation and advice.

    I know along with being Secretary for the FSDA’s Board, you are the Chair of the FSDA Legislative Committee, and have served as Chair for two years. Tell us a little bit about your role and your committee.

    The FSDA, through the Legislative Committee, actively represents its members’ interests before the Florida Legislature. In this regard, the Committee advocates for the advancement of proposed legislation that is consistent with the FSDA’s mission and its members’ interests. Further, the Committee also monitors proposed legislation and trends in Tallahassee and elsewhere that may affect its members. For example, we recently teamed up with other industry participants to sponsor legislation that exempts securities professionals from having to obtain a separate mortgage brokers license in order to have certain conversations with their clients about mortgages or refer clients to a mortgage broker. The law went into effect during the summer of 2018. This past legislative session, our Committee with the guidance of Sean Stafford, our consultant, and along with SIFMA and other industry participants, was instrumental in drafting and obtaining sponsors for legislation that would allow brokerage firms to protect senior investors by pausing transactions placed for customer accounts that the firm suspects are initiated for purposes of theft and exploitation. The House and Senate Bills moved through the legislative process this past session. Although the bills successfully passed through several different committees, after compromises were reached, the proposed legislation was not submitted to the Governor. We plan on again advocating for passage of legislation this session. Consistent with our mission, we are also advocating for passage of legislation that would provide for mandatory financial literacy coursework in Florida High Schools.

    Why is it important for Nelson, Mullins, Broad and Cassel to be a member of the FSDA?

    The FSDA is a leader in the State for advocating for the financial services industry and providing education to youth and adults about finance and potential scams to avoid. As lawyers practicing in this area, it is critical for us to be aware of the issues impacting our clients and to be involved in advocating for change when warranted. Through discussions with FSDA members, we are able to learn first-hand about trends and issues impacting the industry. Further, our involvement allows us to advocate for positive change on educational and legislative initiatives. The FSDA Board is one of the most knowledgeable and dedicated groups with which I have had the pleasure to work. While many organizations talk about ways to improve their industry and the surrounding community, the FSDA effectively and thoughtfully takes action. The legislative initiatives, educational programs and outreach efforts are just a few examples. In addition, on a more personal note, I thoroughly enjoy every chance I have to spend time and exchange ideas with my friends at the FSDA.

    Dan, I know that you still play hockey. Tell us about your keen interest in hockey.

    I grew up in the northeast as big New York Islander ice hockey fan. I was always amazed at the combination of skills necessary for the players to develop and implement in order to play the game. Oddly, I did not start playing ice hockey until, as a practicing attorney, I moved to sunny South Florida. I love new challenges, so I signed up for clinics to learn how to skate better, stick handle and shoot the puck. I then found a group of people who were looking to play league hockey and we formed a team. For me, the camaraderie of team sports at any age is something special. Some nights we won, some nights we lost, but we always had a great time (and a really good workout). I also took the opportunity to apply what I learned so I could coach my daughter’s youth roller and ice hockey teams. I have been fortunate through hockey to have made incredible friendships through the years and have had a lot of laughs. I am similarly fortunate to have the opportunity to work with the FSDA team.

    Dan, thanks for taking time to speak with us today.

    Next month, Laura Hawley of Allen & Company, will be “In the Spotlight.”

  • 08/06/2018 2:22 PM | Anonymous



    We are speaking today with Andy Hirsch a Senior Vice President with Robert W. Baird & Co., Inc. (“Robert W. Baird”) in Tampa, Florida. Andy was the 2007-2008 president of FSDA.

    Andy, please tell us a little bit about yourself.

    Answer: I was raised in Tampa, FL. and went to college at Washington & Jefferson College in Pennsylvania and then The Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University, in Macon GA. After graduation, I worked for E.F. Hutton, L.F. Rothschild and Drexel Burnham before joining Robert W. Baird & Co. in 1993. I just celebrated my 25th anniversary with Baird.

    What do you do at Robert W. Baird?

    Answer: I am a Financial Advisor and the co-founder of The Hirsch Group, a team dedicated to working with high net-worth clients and companies needing comprehensive financial planning services. I also serve as Branch Manager for our Tampa office.

    I know you're the Chair of the FSDA Nominating Committee, and have served as Chair for several years. Tell us a little bit about your role and your committee.

    Answer: My role is to continue the tremendous leadership chain we have within our organization. Finding members to step-up and lead our organization today and into the future is what this committee is all about.

    Why is it important for Robert W. Baird to be a member of the FSDA?

    Answer: Baird has a number of offices throughout the state of Florida and it is important for us to be tied to the pulse of our industry which the FSDA allows us to do. Just as importantly the FSDA helps financial services firms, big and small, wire house to independents, keep engaged in the laws and regulations which impact how we perform our business practices in the state and nationally as well. Finally, the comradery of the Board of Governors and the entire organization is amazing-I have made some great friends along the way from all over the state.

    Andy, I know that you are also a member of the Board of Tampa Bay Job Links (TBJL). Tell us about that organization and what it does.

    Answer: TBJL is a non-profit organization that provides individuals with career guidance and job-search coaching, and provides area employers with qualified pre-screened candidates. TBJL rose from the ashes of the economic decline we suffered in 2008/2009 which wreaked havoc on employment. Since then, TBJL has grown in prominence and community influence in helping the unemployed find opportunities.

    Next month, Dan Newman, Partner of Broad and Cassel will be “In the Spotlight.”

  • 06/26/2018 11:41 AM | Anonymous

    MEET Patricia (Trish) Cowart of FSDA, Institutional Member with Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC

    Patricia (Trish) Cowart, Senior Company Counsel
    Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC
    100 NE 3RD Ave, Suite 610,
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301

    Email: patricia.cowart@wellsfargoadvisors.com

    Phone: 954-713-0762
    Institutional Member

    Trish, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
    I was raised in South Louisiana, mostly New Orleans, but I lived in a few other true Cajun Country towns such as Morgan City and Port Sulphur; I went to school at Stetson where I studied political science and Spanish (so I got to go to the Universidad de Madrid for a semester too!) and then went to the University of Florida for law school; I was a partner at the law firm of Ruden McCloskey before joining PaineWebber / UBS and then moved over to Wachovia Securities in 2004 which of course became Wells Fargo Advisors in 2009.

    What do you do at Wells Fargo Advisors?
    I have held a range of management roles and now I am in the Wealth and Investment Management Litigation group of the Legal Department. Primarily I handle FINRA arbitrations but also see a wide variety of other litigation. I also am a part of the Senior Leadership Board at the firm.

    I know you're a member of several FSDA Committees. Tell us a little bit about what each committee does.
    Goodness, that could take me hours! I was the Chair for several years of the Education Committee and that is where I first developed my strong attachment to FSDA. This Committee has three areas of focus: (1) industry outreach and education events, (2) elder fraud education directed to the investing public and (3) teen financial literacy. I am also an active member of the Legislative Committee. Last year, as President, I made a number of trips to Tallahassee as part of our efforts to get support for the mortgage licensing exemption law that ultimately passed and was signed into law by the Governor. FSDA also supported proposed legislation related to creation of additional tools for firms to use in connection with elder fraud prevention as well as our continuing support for making a course in financial literacy mandatory for Florida high school students. FSDA also has other Committees such as our Scholarship Committee but Education and Legislative are the two I have worked with the most.

    Why is it important for Wells Fargo Advisors to be a member of the FSDA?
    One of the reasons is that Florida is such a leading state in securities law development. We often see statutes enacted here first that influence other states. In addition, of course, Florida is a large and important market. FSDA gives us access to information and contacts that are unique to the FSDA. It’s also great to meet with like-minded people who sincerely have a strong focus on investor education and protection for citizens of our state.

    Trish, I know that you have a special passion for the opera. Tell us about the South Florida opera scene.
    You are certainly right – I am very passionate in my love for opera! South Florida is fortunate to have the Florida Grand Opera (FGO), the oldest performing arts organization in Florida and the seventh oldest opera company in the country. FGO’s season consists of four operas – at least one of which is always focused on showcasing contemporary opera with a Hispanic focus. Last year Before Night Falls by Jorge Martin and this year Florencia en el Amazones by Daniel Catan were stunning and are works not generally as available outside of South Florida. I’m looking forward to next year when they will perform Frida by Robert Xavier Rodriguez in addition to ones from the standard repertoire: La Boheme, The Marriage of Figaro and Werther. I already have my subscription! We also have a huge base of opera lovers in South Florida who regularly attend the live transmission of ten operas each season from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York at movie theaters. We love to chat on the Facebook Page “Met Opera Live in HD Fans” started by an opera fan from Tampa. That group now has over 10,000 members worldwide and I’ve become friends with opera lovers not only from Florida but many other states as well as from Germany, England, Japan, Australia, etc. It’s a great time to be an opera lover.

    Trish, thanks for taking time to speak with us today.

    Next month, Andy Hirsch, of RW Baird will be “In the Spotlight.”

  • 06/01/2018 1:58 PM | Anonymous


    Mitchell Bell
    Director at Pershing LLC a BNY Mellon Co
    300 Colonial Center Pkwy, Suite 400, Lake Mary, FL 2746

    Email: mbell@pershing.com

    Phone: (321) 249-4086

    Member Level: Corporate Member

    Website: www.pershing.com

    We are speaking today with Mitch Bell, Director of Global Client Relationships with Pershing, a BNY Mellon company. 

    Mitch, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
    I was raised in Metuchen, NJ, went to school at Johnson & Wales University and after graduation went to work for Merrill Lynch before joining Pershing in 1997.

    What do you do at Pershing?
    I am a Director and a Senior Relationship Manager for Pershing, a BNY Mellon company, in the Global Client Relationship group.

    ​For 25 years, I’ve had the incredible the opportunity to grow businesses and partner with some really talented people within our client base, Pershing and our parent company BNY Mellon. It’s been a career path driven by passion, life-long learning and embracing challenges. 

    Today, I’m fortunate to work strategically to foster client relationships with some of the largest most complex broker-dealers and the advisors they serve. Importantly, we are working to help them fulfill business plans and goals by leveraging the resources of our entire firm. It’s a unique role that provides me with the opportunity to work closely with the executives that are running a broker-dealer. By investing in their success, we are often able to compliment what they already do really well. It’s personally and professionally rewarding to see our client succeed. 

    I know you're a member of the FSDA Scholarship Committee.  Tell us a little bit about what that committee does.
    The FSDA offers two or more, $2,000 scholarships, to members of the FSDA.  They may be utilized by anyone within the member firm.  All information is under our scholarships tab on our website.

    Why is it important for Pershing to be a member of the FSDA? 
    The FSDA has shown great commitment to positive change in financial services around critical issues such as adopting new business models, addressing new regulations and dealing with product complexity. Importantly, they have developed a trusted and constructive relationship with Florida Legislators and the investment community. These important issues are crucial for Pershing and the clients we serve. We are proud to work side-by-side with FSDA as we move ahead in these exciting and challenging times.

    I know that in June Pershing will host its annual INSITE conference, which will take place this year in Orlando. Tell us a little bit about why an investment adviser or financial adviser should consider attending INSITE 2018. 
    For 20 years, INSITE has brought industry leaders together to discuss prominent issues, trends and best practices. This year, home office professionals and advisors will have a chance to explore the major issues they are facing, such as regulatory and technology changes, while networking with those who are passionate about this business. Take a look at our sessions; they have been uniquely developed to customize your experience by choosing the breakout sessions that interest you most.

    Mitch, has Pershing extended to employees of FSDA members any exclusive offers to attend this year’s INSITE conference?
    Absolutely! I’d be happy to have anyone affiliated with the FSDA as my guest. I’ve arranged to have our conference fee waived for INSITE 2018 when you use Priority Code "FSDA" at registration so please join us June 6-8, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Orlando. Visit BNYMellonINSITE.com to learn more, and register today!

    Mitch, thanks for taking time to speak with us today. INSITE 2018 sounds like a wonderful event. The FSDA urges employees of all FSDA members to consider attending, and if you or your firm have not yet joined FSDA, now is an exciting time to do so to take advantage of this opportunity and to reap all the other benefits of FSDA membership. 

    Next month, Patricia Cowart an attorney with Wells Fargo Advisors will be "In the Spotlight."

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