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LPL Boosts Advisors, Assets in Q1

LPL Financial said the number of advisors affiliated with the firm increased by 215 over the first quarter, and 2,419 year-over-year, while its total advisory and brokerage assets rose 21% year-over-year, according to the independent broker/dealer’s Q1 earnings report.

In a conference call, CEO Dan Arnold said that the first quarter’s net new assets were $18 billion, a 6% annualized growth rate, which he attributed to “solid new store sales, same-store sales and adviser retention.” 

“In the quarter, total assets decreased to $1.16 trillion as continued solid organic growth was more than offset by lower equity markets,” Arnold said, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha. “With respect to organic growth, the business continued to perform well despite market volatility.”

According to the earnings report, advisory assets for the IBD had jumped 26% year-over-year to $624 billion, while advisory assets as a percentage of LPL’s total assets climbed from 51.8% at this point last year to 53.7%. According to Arnold, the firm recruited nearly $3 billion in assets in the first quarter of the year (with JMP analyst Devin Ryan noting that most of this asset growth came in March). 

Arnold spoke about the previous year’s additions of BMO Harris and M&T, and said the firm was preparing to onboard People’s United Bank, which had previously been acquired by M&T and had about 30 advisors with $6 billion in managed assets. LPL announced earlier this week that it was moving to transition the bank onto the firm’s brokerage and advisory platform later this year. 

Additionally, the firm is continuing to onboard about 550 advisors across 300 credit unions in integrating CUNA Mutual Group, which was announced last summer. CUNA’s advisors served about $36 billion in brokerage and advisory assets. 

“For these institutions, we will use new innovations that will make it easier to transition to LPL and, in turn, help make our offering even more appealing and ultimately contribute to further growth,” Arnold said.

Additionally, LPL announced Friday that Brett Goodman, a managing director in wealth management at Morgan Stanley, will join LPL as an executive vice president of corporate development and investor relations, and will supervise the firm’s implementation of its M&A strategies. Prior to Morgan Stanley, Goodman was E*Trade’s Chief Business Development Officer, and helped oversee E*Trade’s integration at Morgan Stanley after it purchased E*Trade for $13 billion in February of 2020. 

Earlier this month, LPL announced that Kabir Sethi, the former head of digital for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, would lead LPL’s wealth management solutions group, replacing the outgoing Burt White, who moved from LPL to join Carson Group as a managing partner and chief strategy officer. LPL also revealed that Managing Director Matt Enyedi, the head of the business solutions group, would be moving to oversee national sales and marketing starting at the beginning of May.

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