Alexandra Armstrong, an early pioneer of the financial planning movement and the first female president of one of the Financial Planning Association's predecessor organizations, has affiliated with Commonwealth Financial Network.

Armstrong's firm is among three firms that have been recruited by Commonwealth this month, bringing $1.25 billion in assets under management to the independent broker-dealer.

Armstrong's firm, Armstrong, Fleming & Moore Inc., is joining Commonwealth's network of independent financial advisors, along with BDS Financial Services Corp. of Solon, Ohio, and Muskat Financial of Simi Valley, Calif., Commonwealth announced today.

With the new recruits, Commonwealth says its new advisor revenue is up 180% from a year ago.

The recruitment of Armstrong is a coup for the broker dealer. The author of On Your Own: A Widow's Passage To Emotional And Financial Well-Being, Armstrong was an early advocate of comprehensive financial planning and the first female president of the International Association for Financial Planning (IAFP), a predecessor organization of the FPA.

Her firm generated $3.4 million in revenues in 2008 and manages $800 million in client assets, according to Commonwealth. It ranked second in mutual fund sales among all offices of Financial Services Corp. (FSC), its former affiliate, according to Commonwealth.

The move to Commonwealth was prompted by reports that AIG, the parent company of FSC, was looking to sell off the broker-dealer, Armstrong said. She joined FSC in the early 1990s.

"When FSC was up for sale, we decided we should look at our alternatives rather than having our future determined for us," Armstrong said in a prepared statement.

"Several advisors whom we know and respect, and a handful of wholesalers, recommended we look at Commonwealth," she said. "When we visited the home office, we liked everyone we met at every level of the firm. We were particularly impressed with the technology and its ability to aid us in running a successful practice, as well as servicing our clients."

Another leading FSC office, BDS Financial Services Corp., led by advisor Ashok Shendure, generated revenues of $1 million in 2008, overseeing $250 million in client assets.

Muskat Financial, led by solo practitioner Al Muskat, generated revenues of $2.1 million in 2008 with $200 million under management.