LPL Nabs $1 Billion Group of 50 Reps

Level Four Group, which includes advisors and CPAs, was formerly affiliated with Lincoln Financial

LPL executives celebrating their IPO in 2010. LPL executives celebrating their IPO in 2010.

Level Four Group, based in Plano, Texas, has affiliated with LPL Financial (LPLA) to take advantage of LPL’s broker-dealer and RIA platforms.

Level Four, which was previously affiliated with Lincoln Financial, has close to $1 billion in client assets and includes about 50 licensed independent financial advisors, about half of whom are accountants with Series 7 or 66 licenses. Its four retail offices are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Austin, Texas, and Irvine, Calif.

“We had a wonderful, close relationship with Lincoln Financial,” said Jake Tomes, CEO of Level Four, in an interview with AdvisorOne. The decision to move to LPL’s hybrid platform, he says, stemmed from the group’s “desire to grow and attract the most talented investment advisors in the industry.”

The group was formed to help CPAs and CPA firms add wealth management as a core strategy, according to Tomes. “Today’s landscape is changing, and advisors are acting more as fiduciaries for clients,” Tomes explained. “As this shift continues, advisors need to position themselves more for fee-for-service and fee-for-advice business. We want to capitalize in this trend.”

“We are really excited that Level Four is aligning with LPL Financial,” said Bill Morrissey (left), executive vice president of business development at LPL Financial, in an interview. “This is a large talented group of advisors that provides sophisticated wealth management services to clients and fits well with our hybrid platform. They do transaction- and fee-based work in a single sweep and take advantage of our practice management support.”

In addition, says Morrissey, “We are philosophically well aligned, and expect Level Four to benefit from increased efficiencies from our integrated platform. We want to partner with them to help them grow organically, while capturing more wallet share from clients and via the recruiting of like-minded advisors.”

In addition to its four branded offices, Level Four also includes affiliated advisors in New Jersey, Illinois and Los Angeles. Its expansion plans are focused, according to Tomes, especially on Texas and Southern California. “But with LPL, we feel we really have an unlimited scope in terms of our geography.”

“LPL is the ideal partner as we take the next jump in growth as a firm,” he explained. “As a truly independent firm, LPL should enable us to achieve our aggressive business-growth initiative, which is focused on partnering with investment advisors and CPAs to create a family-office environment that offers traditional advice along with tax and business advice for a fee.”

“We look forward to partnering with them as they grow to become a preeminent firm in the financial-services industry,” added Morrissey.

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