Advisor Choice: How Models Like Wells Fargo’s First Clearing Offer Optionality and Flexibility

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Mindy Diamond

A conversation with John Peluso, President, First Clearing

Multi-channel models have become one of the hottest options for advisors considering change in recent years—fueling growth in the channel with some of the biggest names in the business jumping on board.

This “choose your path” concept has been around for a while, designed largely to accommodate a firm’s existing advisor force, offering a path to those interested in independence while retaining these advisors as part of their firm’s ecosystem.

And it’s an appealing concept for sure. It offers both traditional W-2 employee and independent platforms under one roof—essentially designed to support an advisor for the lifetime of his career, even as his interest in different models may change over time.

One such example, and a pioneer of the multi-channel model, is offered by Wells Fargo Advisors and its affiliated clearing and custody service provider First Clearing.

John Peluso – wealth management industry veteran and President of First Clearing, joins the show to talk about the multi-channel model, including:

  • John Peluso First ClearingHow advisor mindset is driving change within the landscape—and how optionality and flexibility are the basis for these new models.
  • How the appeal of the multi-channel model is attracting advisors to Wells Fargo—and what John sees as the impact of the model to the wealth management space as a whole.
  • How Wells Fargo and First Clearing differentiate amongst the competition—and what they’re doing to remain relevant within a continually growing landscape.
  • What he views as some of the greatest challenges for wirehouses—and how firms like Wells Fargo are evolving as a result.
  • What he sees as the major trends in wealth management—and how independence will continue to be one of the driving forces of change in the industry.

In a landscape that seems to evolve daily, firms are constantly challenged to up their game in terms of features and benefits that appeal to their advisor constituents. And just as John notes that the most successful advisors demonstrate their value by their actions, the same holds true for the most successful firms.

So listen in to learn more about this popular model and how a firm like Wells Fargo’s First Clearing is creating value and optionality in the expanding landscape.




John Peluso:

John Peluso is a Senior Managing Director at Wells Fargo Advisors and the head of First Clearing. He is responsible for the strategic direction and management of First Clearing, including building key relationships with current and prospective broker dealer and RIA principals.

John has worked in the financial services industry for over 30 years. Previously, he was President of Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network and was responsible for setting the strategic direction for the management, satisfaction, retention and organic growth of the firm’s independent representative channel. John also served as a Managing Director in the Wells Fargo Advisors Private Client Group where he led the business development efforts for retail brokerage recruiting and was the National Director of profit formula. Prior to that, he held various positions within Wheat First Securities, a legacy firm to Wells Fargo Advisors.

John earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the College of William & Mary and his MBA from Virginia Commonwealth University. He completed the Wachovia Executive Leadership Program at the Keenan-Flagler Business School of the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill and is a graduate of the SIFMA Securities Industry Institute at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He holds FINRA Series 7, 9/10, 24 and 65 registrations.

He served as past chair of the SIFMA Independent Firms Committee, a former board member of the Wealth Advisory Institute and a former executive member of the Athletic Educational Foundation of the College of William & Mary. John has served on the St Louis Children’s Hospital Development Board and currently serves on the board of FOCUS St. Louis.


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