LPL Financial's IPO: Rep Reaction

How some key LPL-affiliated reps are responding to the B/D's plans

Gary Cotter, of Cotter Financial in Sun City Center, Florida, feels that LPL's June 4, filing for an IPO is overall a positive move. Having "a clear understanding of what equity in the firm represents" should make it easier to recruit, he says, and he also feels that the added publicity LPL will gain from going public will attract more attention from the affluent, who will be more aware of what the company does.

LPL has had a good retention rate, says Cotter, who himself has been with the B/D for more than 10 years--"people who come generally don't leave"--whereas the wirehouses with whom the independent broker/dealer competes usually have "a lot of movement." He admits to some concern about how LPL will handle decisions for the long-term health of the company since "publicly traded companies have to worry about things on a quarterly basis."

But Cotter is optimistic. He points out that going public had been under discussion when he first joined the firm more than 10 years ago. "Personally, I'm glad it's happening."

To Michael Tannery, of Tannery & Co. Wealth Management in Richardson, Texas, the whole thing is no big deal. "It doesn't do a lot to my business because I know they've been planning to do this for five or six years," he says. "I love LPL for who they are and what they are today. Will it be the same LPL in five or 10 years? I don't know that and neither do you, but you have to prepare for what comes along."

Although Tannery says he knows such a move was part of LPL's long-range strategy, what most impressed him was how much the company communicated with its advisors, including an e-mail message he received from LPL CEO Mark Casady on the afternoon of the SEC filing announcing the move before it appeared on any of the news wires.

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