In a move that catapults two strong firms to the forefront of third-party investment services to financial institutions, Linsco/Private Ledger Corp. (LPL) of Boston and San Diego, will buy Charlotte, North Carolina-based UVEST Financial Services. "This makes us the market leader working with banks and credit unions," says Mark Casady, chairman, CEO and president of LPL. Casady will be chairman of UVEST, once the deal closes, succeeding UVEST Founder and Chairman John Robison, who's slated to retire with the title of chairman emeritus. LPL's Financial Institution Services (FIS) unit, and UVEST's 230 employees in Charlotte will report to Dan Arnold, COO, president and newly appointed CEO of UVEST.
While neither firm would disclose financial details, Casady expects this deal to add a "nice amount of revenue," to LPL's balance sheet. Revenues for LPL' third-party business had been running about $100 million to $150 million, and he expects combined revenues for that business to be about $250 million.
The broker/dealers will remain separate in order to provide the most flexibility for their combined base of 700 financial institutions. For instance, UVEST will be able to give customers access to LPL's proprietary research, while LPL will be able to offer the strengths of UVEST's consulting to both established and startup financial institutions. "We're not going to force anybody to make a change, but instead create best of breed programs," says Arnold. The deal is expected to close in December