The Financial Services Institute (FSI), a fledgling organization of independent broker-dealers, is looking to expand both its membership and lobbying muscle.
   The organization has announced the creation of a membership class for independent registered representatives. FSI has also created a political action committee, which will be funded by member contributions and donate to candidates to federal office. Member contributions are voluntary, according to FSI.
   "We represent our members before policymakers at all levels-the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Association of Securities Dealers, state regulators, Congress and state legislators," says Tony Batman, chairman of FSI's board of directors. "Our goal is to build a very strong and influential organization so that regulators and Congress recognize the significant contribution of independent broker-dealers to the securities industry and to the American public."
   The institute was spun off last year from the Financial Planning Association (FPA) for the purpose of being an advocate focused on the interests of independent broker-dealers and the advisors they serve. The FSI currently has a membership of 103 firms with more than 122,000 registered representatives, who generate more than $8 billion in annual revenues.