LPL landing some big teams — with more to follow

Five groups with $4.4B in assets have signed on during the past three months; 'strong pipeline'

Oct 31, 2012 @ 2:00 pm

By Bruce Kelly

LPL Financial Holdings Inc. expects continued success in recruiting large groups of brokers and advisers to its platform.

Since August, LPL Financial LLC, the broker-dealer, has added five large groups of advisers with assets under management between $175 million and $2 billion. In total, those five adviser groups control almost $4.4 billion in client assets.

“We do see the pipeline strong, and there are more large practices on the move,” said Dan Arnold, the company's chief financial officer. Indeed, management at the broker-dealer expects the company to maintain its momentum attracting such large practices, he said.

Mr. Arnold said that close to 1,300 LPL Financial reps and advisers from New Hampshire to New Jersey were affected by Hurricane Sandy. Most were out of the office Monday and Tuesday, with some reopening today. “We do see many of them ramping back up,” he said. Disruption to those advisers businesses should have a very small impact on the company, he said.

Mr. Arnold made his comments Wednesday afternoon while speaking about LPL Financial Holdings' third-quarter results. For the quarter, net revenue increased 2.8%, reaching $907.2 million. Net income for the quarter, however, slipped 5.8% to $34.3 million, or 31 cents per diluted share.

Mr. Arnold said that investors have questions regarding political issues such as next week's election and the coming decisions over tax policy. Resolving those questions will be beneficial to investors, he added.

And despite its success in recruiting advisers, LPL Financial's head count decreased during the third quarter by 15 and currently stands at 13,170.

Mr. Arnold attributed that result to a bank's decision to internalize its broker-dealer operations, shifting 181 reps and advisers from LPL's platform to its own. He declined to name the bank but said that that information will be released soon.

LPL Financial Holdings was up in trading Wednesday. The company's stock price in the early afternoon was $29.42 per share, an increase of 56 cents from its close Friday.

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