National Planning Holdings Inc. this week announced it bolstered its service offerings to affiliated broker-dealer firms with a suite of programs and services aimed at helping advisors grow and manage their business. 
    NPH, the nation's seventh-largest broker-dealer network, rolled out the AdvisorPath practice management program consisting of five different modules-some are free; others require a fee.

Advisor Path includes:

AdvisorPath Educational Conference: a two-day annual conference focusing on practice management issues. NPH's second annual AdvisorPath conference is scheduled for October 26-28, 2008, at the Marriott New Orleans hotel.

Growth & Profitability Study: a relationship manager from the NPH broker-dealer home office performs an on-site, confidential review of the advisor's practice and provides recommendations on how to improve efficiency.

VIP Program: provides administrative sales support with a professionally trained, management-supervised "virtual assistant." The assistant is hired and trained by NPH and is based at the INVEST Financial Corp. headquarters in Tampa, Fla. Originally available to INVEST reps, the VIP Program is now open to all reps across the NPH network.

Web Site Resource Center: The AdvisorPath Web site has numerous resources that include time management and goal-setting tools, client segmentation worksheets, sample referral letters and phone scripts, external benchmarking resources and educational videos.

Succession Planning Resources: NPH has partnered with FP Transitions to provide registered reps with a comprehensive package of succession planning and practice acquisition services. The program offers several transition and succession options, including buy-sell and continuity agreements, disaster-planning programs, internal succession plans and third-party practice sales.

   The GPS study costs $2,400 a year, and the VIP Program costs $2,500 a month. The other services are free to the 3,000 reps at NPH's four independent broker-dealer firms: INVEST Financial, Investment Centers of America, National Planning Corp., and SII Investments Inc.

   In addition, NPH has introduced two financial assistance programs to help advisors buy existing practices. Through the Practice Acquisition Program, NPH will finance up to 75% of the down payment based on the appraised value of an independent financial planning practice. NPH also introduced a short-term loan program to help new reps cover the marketing and overhead expenses of establishing and expanding their practices. Both programs may be subject to additional terms and conditions.

   NPH, based in Santa Monica, Calif., is an affiliate of Lansing, Mich.-based Jackson National Life Insurance Co.