Securities America is offering a program designed to smooth the transition from retail to independence for financial advisors.

The independent broker-dealer is touting the program in conjunction with its recent acquisition of GWR Investments Inc., a broker dealer and advisory firm that, like Securities America, is based in Omaha, Neb.

"One of the difficulties advisors have is to successfully move from a retail to a purely independent platform without suffering some client attrition," says Chris Flint, Securities America vice president for branch development. "We've created a platform that allows them to graduate to an independent platform over a couple of stages."

The program is currently being tried in Omaha before being rolled out to the rest of Securities America's branch offices.

The three-tiered program starts with the "independent employee" model, in which a representative receives a payout of 45% to 60%, with benefits, office space, E&O insurance coverage and technology and infrastructure costs such as phone lines picked up by Securities America, Flint says. He describes it as the "ground floor" option that's designed to alleviate the headaches that normally take place during a rep's transition.

The second tier is called the "semi-independent" model, which requires reps to be doing a minimum of $250,000 in business. It consists of a $1,200 monthly service fee that covers the administrative and technology costs and a higher payout of 65% to 70%. The top tier is the company's standard pure independent model, which consists of a 95% payout and a $279 monthly service fee, Flint says.