July 30, 2012

Commonwealth Grabs $100M Ex-LPL Team in California

Year to date, the broker-dealer has added about $20 million in yearly fees and commissions with some 50 advisors

Commonwealth Financial Network said Monday that it recruited former LPL Financial (LPLA) advisor Bryan Chew and his team, which oversees more than $100 million in client assets in Sacramento, Calif. Chew, CFP, will be joining Commonwealth, with Paragon Financial Services, which includes three other CFPs—Anita Fong-Chao, Eugene Hsu and Daryl Wong—and one associate, Michael Takayama.

This is good news for the independent broker-dealer, according to Andrew Daniels (left), Commonwealth’s managing partner of field development, who says the firm added about $20 million in combined annual production in the first six months of 2012. The represents about 50 recruited advisors with roughly $450,000 each in average production, putting it slightly ahead of its first-half 2011 results.

"We are excited that in 2012 we are having great success in our recruiting efforts with higher [production], and that success has come without anything dramatically going wrong at other firms or in the markets," said Daniels in an interview with AdvisorOne. "This is really a testament to what we're doing righ with respect to our service and technology."

Overall this year, he notes, recruited advisors have comve from a broad range of firms, including other independent broker-dealers, wirehouse firms like UBS (UBS) and Morgan Stanley (MS), insurance-owned companies such as Lincoln Financial, and Ameriprise (AMP).

"Advisors move to solve a need," Daniels said. "Commonwealth is known as a strong service provider and as a high-touch, high-service firm that puts extensive resources into its technology tool box, and our demonstrable results make us the firm of choice today."

The recently recruited Sacramento-based Chew, for instance, has been in the business for 23 years and has focused on high-net-worth individuals and families. He also is a professor at UC Davis Extension.

“We are excited to enter the next phase of business development, and Commonwealth is the best possible partner to help us achieve our growth goals,” said Chew, in a statement. “Commonwealth leads the industry with a technology platform that is truly integrated. This translates to better control of the business, better services to our clients, and decreased expenses.”

In June, Commonwealth, based in Waltham, Mass., and San Diego, Calif., said it recruited three firms in Kansas with a total of about $375 million in client assets. The independent and privately held broker-dealer is ranked third in size, based on 2011 revenue of about $647 million, behind Raymond James Financial (RJF) and LPL.

Commonwealth now includes more than 1,400 independent advisors. It earned the highest rating in the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 and 2012 Financial Advisor Satisfaction studies.

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