LPL's recruiting of top advisers falls for third straight quarter

Decline in the number of new individuals or teams with $100 million or more in assets comes after best recruiting year ever in 2016

Nov 15, 2017 @ 5:24 pm

By Bruce Kelly

Recruiting large advisers, individuals or groups with more than $100 million or greater in assets has fallen off a cliff this year at LPL Financial.

According to data publicly reported by the company, LPL has seen a sharp decline each quarter of 2017 in the number of advisers with $100 million or more in assets. The company recruited 22 such individuals or groups in the first three months of the year, 14 in the second quarter, and just eight for the third quarter, which ended in September.

LPL released its recruiting tally for the third quarter of the year last week on Friday.

The decline of advisers with large amounts of assets moving to LPL comes the year after the firm reported its best recruiting year ever in 2016, adding a net 323 financial advisers.

That has changed, and CEO Dan Arnold recently pointed to the Department of Labor's new fiduciary rule for the slowdown.

"I think the biggest driver that we see there is the continued uncertainty around the DOL rule," Mr. Arnold said on a conference call last month with investors. "And that tends to reduce the amount of advisers in motion or movement, especially what we've seen in the financial institutions and larger practices. I think we continue to see good flow of advisers out of employee-based models to the independent model."

Jeff Mochal, an LPL spokesman, declined to comment.

In total, LPL over the first nine months of 2017 has recruited 198 individual advisers or teams, according to the company's public filings. In the past, LPL has stated it has a goal of recruiting 300 to 400 net new advisers annually.

In its third-quarter earnings release last month, parent company LPL Financial Holdings Inc. said it had 14,253 advisers at the end of September.

Of course, the firm is focused on its $325 million acquisition of the National Planning Holdings network of broker-dealers, which it announced in August. LPL is currently attempting to move the first half of 3,200 NPH advisers to the firm. Last week the company said that – in the initial phase of moving advisers from two of NPH's broker-dealers – it was on track to transfer 70% of adviser revenue.

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