December 14, 2012

LPL Taps Ex-Dell CIO for Top Tech Post

Victor Fetter will move from Austin to Charlotte, N.C., to head the independent broker-dealer's growing IT squad

 Victor Fetter, LPL FinancialLPL Financial (LPLA) said Thursday that it hired ex-Dell executive Victor Fetter (left) as the independent broker-dealer’s new chief information officer. In addition to serving as CIO, Fetter will also be managing director of the company’s Business Technology Services business unit starting Monday and will be on LPL’s Executive Management Committee.

Fetter, 44, who had been based in Austin, Texas, is a 22-year technology veteran. He will be based in Charlotte, N.C., and will report to LPL Financial Chairman and CEO Mark Casady. Before moving to Dell in 2007, Fetter served as the global CIO at Mercer Human Resources Consulting.

"With his deep technology experience and expertise, Victor has shown over and over his ability to solve problems and make continuous improvement for those using [technology] processes and developing technology,” said Casady, in an interview with AdvisorOne. “We are thrilled to have him as part of our team.”

According to LPL Financial, Fetter will be in charge of the 400-plus employees now working in the tech area and about 60 more who are being hired. The size of the tech team is being boosted by about 50% in 2012 and 2013, the IBD says, and includes staff in Charlotte and San Diego.

“When we look at the opportunities ahead for LPL, there are many areas in which can have an impact -- scale, reach, mobility, core systems and social media -- all on a strong platform that we can add lot of abilities to in order to meets the needs of advisors,” said Fetter in an interview.

Fetter will be schooled by current LPL CIO Chris Feeney over the next several months. Feeney will then retire, after five years on the job with the IBD and 30-plus years in the financial-services technology industry.

The new CIO’s previous employer, Dell (DELL), has been going through significant transitions of late, namely moving away from its core PC business and focusing more on enterprise sales. Over the past 12 months, however, its stock has declined about 30%, and it missed analysts’ expectation in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, LPL’s shares are trading in slightly negative territory, while the S&P 500 has improved more than 15% in the past 52 weeks.

For his part, Casady remains very upbeat on LPL’s technology innovation and what it means for the firm's 13,000-plus affiliated independent reps. “We are delivering on some pretty amazing solutions, like our e-signature program that several thousand advisors have signed up for within less than a month of rollout,” he said. “We want to continue this history of innovation and take it up a notch.”

Check out where LPL Financial ranked in 12 Best & Worst Broker-Dealers: Q3 Earnings at AdvisorOne.

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