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The Affiliated Vantage

Who We Are

Affiliated Advisors, founded by Rita Robbins in 1994, is a leading national advisor network of successful, experienced professionals like you. Our attention to detail and our understanding of advisors’ aspirations give us unique insights. Our comprehensive view puts you in a position to increase the efficiency of your practice year after year.

Our advisors gain access to unique support owing to Rita’s powerful partnership with independent broker-dealer Royal Alliance, a member of Advisor Group. Additional benefits include customized pricing for increased profitability, access to enhanced technology and personal coaching on marketing, practice management and acquisitions.

Select advisors will benefit from partnering with Affiliated Advisors—our expertise and experience help advisors extend their reach and broaden their opportunities. We believe that in order to meet the challenge of a dynamic marketplace with minimal friction, operations, technology and compliance support must be superior. Because our firm attracts successful entrepreneurs – high achievers with high expectations – we remain vigilant. We are proud to welcome new advisors on a referral basis only.

What We Believe

Our mission is to help advisors build the businesses of their dreams while serving their clients with integrity, creativity and compassion.

At Affiliated Advisors we offer:

  • Individualized strategies for marketing, operations, technology and practice management
  • Access to our powerful wealth management platform 
  • Customized pricing through our partnership with Royal Alliance
  • In-house resources for life, long-term care and disability income insurance
  • Support for succession planning, practice valuations and acquisition opportunities
  • Unique educational programs that prepare advisors to meet the challenges of industry and market evolution

Our Team

Rita Robbins Photo

Rita Robbins

Founder and President

Rita Robbins combines more than 3 decades of industry experience with a proactive, personalized approach toward empowering her advisors. Since 1994, when she founded Affiliated Advisors, Rita’s passion is to support advisors grow dynamic, efficient businesses.

Rita partners with Royal Alliance, and now leads over 90 advisors in 42 offices with more than $3 Billion in assets under management. Her unique insights into enhancing advisors’ marketing has made her a sought after speaker at industry conferences. Rita was honored by Investment News as a “Women to Watch” in 2019 for her distinguished leadership in advancing the business of providing advice with her passion, creativity, and willingness to help others. In 2020, Crain’s recognized Rita as a “Notable Women In Financial Services”.

Rita and her family enjoy taking advantage of all that New York City has to offer.

She is an avid New York City Ballet fan, and proudly serves as a Trustee of The Town Hall, a National Historic Landmark venue. She is a partner in the Lavender Hill Farm, one of the largest commercial lavender farms in the US, pictured on this website.

Contact Rita via email.

Tom Rippberger Photo

Tom Rippberger

Managing Partner

Tom Rippberger has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. He has a proven record of strategic development and business execution. Most recently, Tom was Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer of AdvisorNet Financial. While at AdvisorNet, the company added several business units and office locations and grew from 35 employees to over 100. Tom saw the company through an SEC examination and led the OSJ team through broker-dealer audits on an annual basis.

Before AdvisorNet, Tom served on McGladrey Wealth Management's Executive Team. He was responsible for the strategic development of a CPA affiliated RIA platform. Before McGladrey, Tom was Chief Compliance Officer at ING/Washington Square Securities. He led the compliance and risk management departments and managed a $2 million litigation budget. Tom also held the position of CCO at TCF Insurance and Investments where he managed compliance, supervision, and the representative sales process for broker dealer and life insurance distribution.

Tom graduated from the William Mitchell College of Law and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP®). He has completed the C(k)P program with The Retirement Advisor University, UCLA Anderson School of Management Education. He has also passed several securities registrations (Series 7, 63, 24, 4, 53 and 65).

In his free time, Tom enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. He has coached hockey, baseball, and soccer teams. The family loves to hike and travel.

Contact Tom via email.

Trisha Qualy Photo

Trisha Qualy

Managing Partner

Trisha Qualy has been working in the financial services industry for almost a decade. She is passionate about helping advisors grow and improve their businesses. Before joining Affiliated Advisors, Trisha worked in a leadership role with a hybrid RIA/broker-dealer affiliated OSJ. She built out the internal RIA operations, technology, and compliance platform. In addition, she oversaw the transition process for advisors joining the firm leading to almost $4 billion AUM.

Trisha focused on operationalizing the firm’s compliance program for both the RIA and the OSJ team. She strategically used technology to make compliance and operations more efficient not only for her team, but more importantly for the advisors. She also focused on developing a strong service culture to engage advisors across the country and improve service standards across the organization.

Before that, Trisha worked in an accounting office. Trisha developed her love for numbers and spreadsheets while in this role. She was also a runner-up in the Minnesota Business Cup competition for her work with a non-profit organization. Additionally, Trisha worked in education, teaching English overseas.

Trisha graduated from the University of Minnesota and she is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP®). She also completed the Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional (IACCP®) program through the National Regulatory Services organization. Trisha holds Series 7 and 66 licenses.

Outside of her career, Trisha spends time practicing and teaching yoga. When not in the yoga studio, she loves to travel with her husband.

Contact Trisha via email.

Lori Skibo Photo

Lori Skibo

Director of National Sales

As Director of National Sales for Affiliated Advisors, Lori is a consummate insurance professional who helps advisors find suitable life, long-term care and disability insurance solutions for their affluent clients.

Lori began working with Rita right out of college more than 16 years ago as an internal marketing and sales specialist. Her sole focus has been on providing personalized insurance support—including life, long-term care and disability income--so advisors can focus on their clients and on building their practices. Advisors rely on Lori's underwriting expertise, detail-oriented focus and proactive approach to finding solutions. By leveraging her knowledge, she provides strategic consulting and solve problematic underwriting situations, helping registered representatives and licensed insurance agents serve the insurance needs of their high net worth and affluent clients.

Lori and her husband enjoy spending time with their daughter and supporting various community causes.

Contact Lori via email.

Cindy Pollak Photo

Cindy Pollak

Director of Compliance

A 25-year veteran of the securities industry, Cindy has extensive experience in both operations and compliance. Cindy began her career in 1980 with Piper Jaffrey. After raising her family, Cindy continued her career at Voyager Mutual Funds. In 1996 Cindy moved on to Washington Square Securities/ING as a Supervisor, managing an operations team. In 2000 she joined a large OSJ office for Cetera Advisors Network as one of four OSJ Managers and was quickly promoted to Director of Compliance and Operations.

Cindy is dedicated to creating an excellent advisor experience. She understands the challenges that advisors face each day navigating their way through the ever-changing rules, regulations, and processes of compliance and operations. Using her expertise and knowledge to assist in these areas, she allows advisors to focus on their practice and their clients.

After living in Minneapolis for most of her life, Cindy now resides on a farm in a small town in northern Minnesota. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, farm life, and especially spending time with her four grandchildren at their family cabin.

Contact Cindy via email.

Rashida Kersey-Sparks Photo

Rashida Kersey-Sparks

Advisor Support Manager

Rashida began working in Financial Services in 1993 at Oppenheimer Capital. Since then, she has had various positions in virtually every aspect of client services, as well as portfolio management platform operations.

Years ago, she recognized that supporting advisors in the client services area was her passion. Being the “go-to” expert for advisors is what drives her; helping them is what is most meaningful and important to her.

As the newest member of our firm, Rashida shared what she appreciates most about joining our team is: "Knowing that supporting advisors’ success our driving force, one that every team member embraces, makes it the perfect home for me.”

Rashida loves spending time with her husband Shey and their children, Anayah and Elijah. An avid reader, she loves curling up with a good book and a glass of wine.

Contact Rashida via email.

Deana Andriani Photo

Deana Andriani

Director of Administrative Services

Deana Andriani brought her organizational skills, sophistication and good spirits to Affiliated Advisors in 2017, after several years on staff at Advisor Group, where she coordinated advisor and executive events. Previous to that position, Deana had assisted C-level executives at Advisor Group and Royal Alliance, which rendered her an adept hand with technology, budgets, complex calendars and more. Deana manages offices and personalities with kindness and unceasing calm.

She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and three children.

Contact Deana via email.

Ana Chicas Photo

Ana Chicas

Operations Specialist

An integral part of the Affiliated Advisors team, Ana helps our advisors with escalated operational questions. She also assists with technology and compliance items. Ana appreciates working as a team to provide advisors with outstanding service.

Ana is a local Monmouth County resident who graduated from Red Bank Catholic High School and then went onto to continue her education at the University of Delaware. She graduated with a degree in Management Information Systems which teaches expertise on database creation, web design and other facets of business technology needs. In her free time, she enjoys reading and jogging.

Contact Ana via email.

Samantha Orvelo Photo

Samantha Orvelo

Office Manager

Samantha Orvelo started working in financial services in 2003 as an intern for The Tilchen Corporation. She began with receptionist work and gradually became more involved with every aspect of client services.  Samantha worked with Alan and Lindsay Tilchen until their retirement in 2019. 

Samantha prides herself in being able to find solutions to problems. No matter the problem or issue, she strives to help make clients’ day a little brighter. Having them say “Thank You” is satisfying and rewarding for her. 

Our clients greatly benefit from her skill set: experienced and efficient, coupled with her strong work ethic, and ability to drive tasks to completion truly set her apart from the pack.  

When not at work, Samantha spends time with family and friends. She and her husband, Jeremiah, have two sons, TJ and Noah.

Contact Samantha via email.

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