Veterans, Animal Welfare Close to Heart for Longtime LPL Advisor
Bob Fragasso is all too aware of the alarming statistics of suicide, family abuse, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder facing veterans returning from active duty. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for six years before entering the financial services industry.
Veterans Day is a reminder of the sacrifice that has been made by so many to preserve our freedoms and our way of life.
Inspired by his own love of animals, the longtime LPL advisor recently spearheaded a Pets for Vets program in his hometown of Pittsburgh. He teamed up with a no-kill animal shelter for the initiative that pairs rescued dogs, cats, and even rabbits with veterans who could benefit from a companion. The program gives animals a second chance and provides veterans with much-needed emotional support, helping reduce depression and anxiety.
“It’s a great, innovative program that puts a reliable loyal friend in the home of a struggling veteran,” said Bob, who has five dogs and five cats of his own – all rescues. “It’s all positive reinforcement. The rescued pet is trained to adapt to the specific needs of the veteran it’s paired with. The animals are desensitized to wheelchairs, crutches, night terrors, or other challenges affecting the veteran. A veteran won’t meet the pet unless the training is successful.”
Bob, 71, a graduate of Duquesne University, was based at Parris Island, S.C., and Camp Lejeune, N.C., and then on active reserve during his time with the Marines. The father of three went on to become chairman and chief executive officer of Fragasso Financial Advisors. His fee-based investment management company joined LPL 20 years ago with a staff of 11 and has grown to 47 employees – including 15 advisors – with 1,200 client entities.
Bob’s firm takes a holistic approach to financial planning. “We take charge of being the client’s guide through life,” he said. Fragasso Financial Advisors offers wealth management, retirement plan services, client portfolio management, and nonprofit advisory services. The firm also has its own endowment foundation initiative and marketing department.
They rely heavily on LPL’s “quality national platform” for investment management. “LPL is a collaborative partner. They recognize our uniqueness and adapt to our model,” he said.
Recognition in the Industry
The Pittsburgh Business Times named Bob one of the region’s Most Admired CEO’s and Top Executives for 2016. His firm also received honors from Barron’s RIA Leaders, Financial Times, and Pittsburgh Magazine.
Bob’s also well-known in Pittsburgh for his community involvement. He serves on the boards of Animal Friends, La Roche College, Pennsylvania Economy League of Southwestern Pennsylvania, and the Veterans Advisory Board for Duquesne University. Additionally, Bob is a member of LPL’s Advisor Council, a 24-member board formed to strengthen relations and support advisors and institutions.
“I wish every employee could meet Bob,” said Fred Schweppe, vice president, Client Insights, and program manager for the Advisor Council. “The first thing you notice is his unassuming, gentlemanly manner—he just exudes this aura of a trusted financial professional. When he speaks, you can be sure his words will be thoughtful, positive, and strategic. During council meetings, everyone perks up when Bob speaks. It’s evident why his business has been so successful.”
Robert Holmes, strategic relationship manager, Business Consulting, also had praise for the advisor.
“Bob Fragasso is without a doubt one of the most genuine, sincere, and caring people I have ever met. His character, integrity, and professionalism are beyond reproach. It’s not just a pleasure to work with Bob and his firm, it is an honor,” Robert said.
Bob plans to spend Veterans Day at an annual breakfast event at Duquesne University, where his firm will host two tables for clients who are veterans. On November 10, which is the Marine Corps birthday, he’ll be a guest speaker at the Range Resources corporate headquarters where he plans to talk about the Pets for Vets program.
“Veterans Day is a reminder of the sacrifice that has been made by so many to preserve our freedoms and our way of life,” Bob said. “Our debt of gratitude is humbling.”