LPL Makes Retirement Plan Push With FAs

The head of the business, Bill Beardsley, and national sales chief Andy Kalbaugh are hoping to bring more LPL reps and ex-NPH advisors into the fold

Bill Beardsley, head of Retirement Partners, speaks at the program's 2017 conference. Bill Beardsley, head of Retirement Partners, speaks at the program's 2017 conference.

LPL Financial executives and staff are pushing to attract advisors from the former National Planning Holdings’ broker-dealers to its platforms. One selling point for these 3,500 registered reps is LPL’s retirement plan program, Retirement Partners.

“The capabilities that they are going to have at LPL are really unmatched for indie reps,” said Bill Beardsley, head of Retirement Partners, in an interview. The firm’s retirement plan consultants and the technology it offers advisors serving such plans work “efficiently and effectively with scale to truly drive outcomes … in ways that were unavailable to them at their prior BD.”

Beardsley and other executives met with about 200 of the IBD’s most successful retirement plan advisors at the business unit’s annual conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, in early October.

They talked with retirement plan reps about “taking the implications of [industry] changes and moving your businesses forward” and about the firm’s “commitment to the retirement business,” according to the retirement plan executive.

Andy Kalbaugh, head of national sales and consulting, said as much in his address to the group. “It was one of the first times we included a senior executive to deliver our business update as part of the opening session. It was great to have him here and a great sign of where we are and what we value,” Beardsley explained.

Overall, about 1,400 members of LPL-affiliated advisors are part of the firm’s Retirement Partners group; they do work on plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 on LPL’s hybrid platform. About 800 do retirement work via LPL’s corporate platform. LPL advisors now serve about 46,000 retirement plans.

Out of a total of 14,000 LPL-affiliated registered reps, about 6,000 advisors — who work in banks or are wealth-focused FAs — are doing “tactical retirement [plan] work” with LPL’s Small Market Solution, the executive says.

Growth Plan

Nationwide, of the roughly 300,000 advisors, about 25,000 specialize in 401(k) plans, according to Fred Barstein of the Retirement Advisor University, and have $25 million in assets or more. Roughly 2,500 have $250 million or more.

“We had over 200 of these elite retirement plan advisors in attendance,” Beardsley said. “We have 80 home-office staff dedicated it to the retirement-plan space, which is one of the largest allotments in the industry, because of the size of our business.”

The firm wants to help more of its advisors grow their retirement plan business by tapping into these resources.

“This [program] outsources the risk and functions of moving money away from the plan sponsor to LPL,” he explained. “We’re having terrific success with it, as it’s being broadly embraced.”

The IBD is also upbeat about its Wellness Assessment Capability — a questionnaire for retirement clients that directs them to a website with workshops and support.

“There’s a strong synergy between qualified-plan advisors and wealth advisors … [tied to] an outcomes-based approach and driving retirees’ security — meaning the accumulation and then drawdown of nest eggs in the most efficient ways to draw the most income,” Beardsley said. “This is where wealth management can complement and drive the commitment to successful retirement.”

--- Check out 5 Big IBD Deals Dwarf RIA Mergers in 2017 on ThinkAdvisor.

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