Ramped up tech spending has helped LPL recruit advisers

Firm expects to spend $135 million on technology this year, more than double what it spent four years ago

Feb 12, 2019 @ 5:02 pm

By Bruce Kelly

LPL Financial expects to spend $135 million on technology in 2019, more than double the $60 million it spent four years ago, according to a presentation Tuesday at a Credit Suisse financial services conference in Miami.

The company has recorded a compound annual growth rate in its technology spending of 20% since 2015, something that has helped it recruit new advisers, according to the presentation.

Over the past few years, LPL has been rolling out a new tech platform, ClientWorks, to replace BranchNet, which was introduced around the turn of the century.

LPL has also been building a variety of virtual services for its 16,109 registered reps and financial advisers, according to the presentation. Those include virtual administrative services, along with virtual marketing, technology and financial capabilities.

LPL recruited $27.3 billion in brokerage and advisory assets in 2018, the firm said at the start of the month. That was the largest annual total for the independent broker-dealer and an increase of 9% from the prior year. The firm selectively offered an attractive recruiting deal throughout 2018.

LPL's chief financial officer, Matt Audette, spoke at the conference and cited the increase in technology spending as one of the reasons for the firm's success in 2018 in recruiting advisers.

"We feel very good about the long-term prospects and excitement for recruiting," Mr. Audette said.

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