About Us

In 1995, two 20-plus year veterans of the financial services industry combined their talents to create an entire new concept for financial service advisors...paperless publishing house. Bill O'Quin, CLU, ChFC, RFC and Joan Barrett, CLU, ChFC were quick to recognize that the Internet would revolutionize the way in which information could be delivered and created Financial Services Online.

By 1996, they and technical gurus, Jim O'Quinn (no relation, note the two n's) and Dylan Tynan, brought what would become The Virtual Assistant (VSA) to the market. It provided a single location for all information needed for an advisor to operate a professional practice at a very reasonable price. The VSA was available 24/7/365, always current with new sales, support and reference material with no books, brochures or expensive software to buy. Today, this sounds like a perfectly logical idea. In fact, it was a great idea but implementation was no small task - especially considering less than 10% of producers had e-mail addresses and even fewer were on the Net. As Bill O'Quin puts it, "We lost a lot of milk in the early years but we never let the cow die!"

Also, in 1996, they launched the industry first internet newsletter to advertise The Virtual Assistant. This newsletter evolved into a profit center and now, under the name of FSO Pubs, is one of the largest e-zine publishers in the country.

In 1998, Bill and Joan sold the company to LUTC (an industry training institution) and continued working and further developing the VSA. In 2000, LUTC merged with the American College and the College decided that The Virtual Assistant was not needed in their curriculum and had no need for an e-zine.  Bill and Joan reacquired the company in 2002. The Virtual Assistant now has a marketing and content relationship with The National Underwriter and has over 10,000 subscribers with numerous companies, BGAs, IMOs and broker-dealer as clients. Today, the VSA is rightfully known as "the most comprehensive support tool in the industry."

The future of The Virtual Assistant and FSO Pubs is spelled out in the Financial Services Online mission statement, "To provide financial and insurance advisors with the most comprehensive sales support tool in the industry at a fair price and keep advisors aware of pertinent industry news at no cost. "

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