LPL in talks to sell 401(k) rollover platform to Global Retirement Partners

The sale would keep the platform in the LPL network, and could be used as a way to lure retirement advisers away from Independent Financial Partners

Jun 12, 2018 @ 4:49 pm

By Greg Iacurci

LPL Financial is in talks to sell Worksite Financial Solutions, a platform that helps advisers service 401(k) rollovers, to Global Retirement Partners, the largest retirement-focused advisory firm in LPL's network.

LPL, the largest independent broker-dealer in the country, told financial advisers last month that the firm was planning to close Worksite Financial Solutions at the end of September. Andy Kalbaugh, managing director and divisional president of national sales and consulting, said the program didn't serve a "substantial portion" of advisers or meet "the return on investment needed to continue."

But, LPL-affiliated 401(k) advisers have privately said the platform is useful and that they were sorry to see it go.

Geoff White, managing partner at GRP, confirmed to InvestmentNews that executives from the firms were in discussions over a transaction.

"We're talking to them about it, and trying to gauge whether they'd be interested," Mr. White said. "We just haven't had all the conversations yet," he added.

An LPL spokesperson wasn't immediately available to comment.

Worksite Financial Solutions primarily supports 401(k) rollovers. Advisers can use the open-architecture program — which comes with a call center, as well as marketing and other support — to place participants in retail investment accounts when they roll money out of a workplace retirement plan. The platform also gave participants the option to have their 401(k) managed by the LPL home office or an LPL adviser.

If completed, the deal would benefit both firms. Instead of discarding a program it has supposedly invested millions of dollars in over the years, LPL can keep its current users happy and custody new retail assets gathered through the platform.

For GRP, whose 300-plus retirement-plan advisers oversee more than $70 billion in defined-contribution assets, executives see it as a way to potentially generate more wealth-management revenue.

"We are very interested in doing it and figuring out if there's something there, because we think it'd be a huge value-add and would generate new revenue," Mr. White said. "As firms continue to develop out the wealth-management side of their business, it's a perfect solution for that."

GRP also sees it as an effective recruiting tool, especially in the wake of Independent Financial Partners, a mega hybrid RIA affiliated with LPL, announcing it will leave LPL next year to start its own broker-dealer. The thinking is: This may give retirement-focused advisers at IFP a reason to join Global Retirement Partners (and therefore remain affiliated with LPL) rather than affiliate with IFP's new broker-dealer.

"We've been asked by a bunch of the current IFP firms to see what we could do about retaining that," Mr. White said, in reference to Worksite Financial Solutions.

Chris Hamm, the chief operating officer at IFP, said he is unaware of the ongoing sale discussions, but that the firm is building out its own platform that "does what Worksite does and much more."

"If that's something GRP sees as an important part of their lineup, that's great for them," Mr. Hamm said. "We'll continue building out the equivalent of that."

(More: $14 billion hybrid Sheridan Road staying with LPL, launching own RIA)

A deal with LPL would see Worksite Financial Solutions fall back under the purview of Bill Chetney, the founder of GRP and former head of LPL Retirement Partners. Mr. Chetney oversaw the launch of the platform in 2013.

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

RIA Data Center

Use InvestmentNews' RIA Data Center to filter and find key information on over 1,400 fee-only registered investment advisory firms.

Rank RIAs by

Featured video

INTV

Regulators' gloves are coming off with cybersecurity. Put up your dukes with these tips

Updated guidelines and some of the first-ever rule enforcements signal that regulators are getting serious about holding firms accountable for data breaches, according to special projects editor Liz Skinner and technology reporter Ryan Neal.

Recommended Video

Keys to a successful deal

Latest news & opinion

Blackrock exposed data on 12,000 financial advisers

The data appeared in three spreadsheets, linked on one of the New York-based company's web pages dedicated to its iShares exchange-traded funds

Advisers throw cold water on FIRE movement

Millennials love it, advisers don't: Turns out, extreme early retirement is a suitable goal for almost nobody.

10 universities with the most billionaire alumni

These 10 American schools have the greatest number of alumni who are billionaires.

Top-performing ETFs of 2018

The markets took a beating last year, but these exchange-traded funds bucked the trend

Morningstar says investors rushed the exits in 2018

Net flows into mutual funds and ETFs were the lowest since the 2008 financial crisis, while money-market funds captured inflows.

X

Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting investmentnews.com? It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist investmentnews.com

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print