From the July 2012 issue of Research Magazine • Subscribe!

LPL, Wells’ FiNet Tap New Execs

LPL Financial said in early June that Dan Arnold, currently head of strategy for the largest independent broker-dealer, had been named chief financial officer of the company, the latest step in a management reorganization that has played out over the last few months.

In assuming the CFO position effective June 15, Arnold replaced Robert Moore, who became LPL’s president (replacing LPL veteran Esther Stearns, who took a new job at the company) and COO on May 1. Following what Arnold says is be a three-month “deliberate and thoughtful” transition period, he will begin reporting to Mark Casady, chairman and CEO of LPL.

Running strategy for the company, Arnold added that he gained a “whole perspective” on the company, noting that he “had the good opportunity to run Uvest for 12 years,” eventually selling Uvest—which provides brokerage services through regional and community banks and credit unions—to LPL in 2006.

Prior to becoming head of strategy for LPL, Arnold was president for four-and-a-half years of LPL’s Institution Services division, which includes Uvest and provides brokerage and insurance services to 680 banks and credit unions.

Becoming CFO, he explained, a role in which he will be able “to support the entire customer base” of LPL, including its nearly 13,000 representatives, “was very appealing to me.”

As CFO, he will continue to manage the public company’s capital with a “strategic outlook” and to align LPL’s investments so as to expand its capabilities, enter new markets and drive more automation and productivity to all its constituents. LPL, he said, will continue to support organic growth opportunities and “acquisition opportunities.”

Wells Fargo Advisors said in early June that Kent Christian is the new president of Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network (FiNet), the firm’s independent channel. Christian replaces John Peluso, who was recently tapped to become president of First Clearing Correspondent Services, a non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo.

“Kent brings to FiNet essential experience, an informed perspective and leadership skills that will help us to further strengthen our firm’s attractiveness to a growing number of entrepreneurial minded, independent advisors,” said Wells Fargo Advisors CEO and President Danny Ludeman, in a press release.

“His appointment to lead our independent advisor business underscores the importance we place on serving the needs of independent business owners,” added Ludeman. “It also affirms our commitment to the multi-channel model that provides choice and flexibility to advisors and clients.”

Christian joined Wells Fargo Advisors in 2005 as president of the independent brokerage group, which includes FiNet. Most recently, he was president of Wells Fargo Advisors’ Financial Services Group.

“This is an exciting time for Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, and I am excited to help lead a team of talented managers supporting strong independent business owners in their efforts to serve their clients,” Christian said in a statement. “In many ways, returning to the independent brokerage business is like a homecoming for me, and I look forward to leading this business at a time when its potential for growth has never been greater.”

While Peluso led FiNet, the channel grew to 1,100 financial advisors and more than $55 billion in client assets, topping $600 million in production.

“In general, FiNet’s yearly growth target is to help FAs open up between 75 to 100 new practices a year. And we believe this is sustainable,” he said in an interview earlier this year. “Including solo practitioners and teams, this entails about 140 to 200 advisors per year joining FiNet.”

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