LPL Financial says it plans to introduce an integrated advisor solution platform, supporting independent Registered Investment Advisors (or RIAs) as well as hybrid ( or dually registered ) financial advisors by year-end. To support this effort, the company has named Gary Gallagher, formerly of Fidelity Investments, as head of RIA services.
According to Mark Casady, LPL Financial’s CEO, the move to support RIAs is an extension of LPL’s other initiatives that have been designed to “redefine independence.” “We’ve been a leader … at providing any product with unbiased selection. We’re a partner to FAs,” and LPL sees advisors as business owners. “This step gives FAs an unbiased business structure,” Casady explains. “It lets them take a new strategy and say, ‘I want to do business as my own RIA.’ “
Boston- and San Diego-based LPL Financial began considering ways to further work with RIAs two years ago, and immediately put Gallagher on its list of executives who could help the firm “make it happen.” Gallagher was hired in November 2007. LPL Financial now includes some 11,800 advisors. About 10 FAs have been involved in the new RIA pilot efforts.
The broker-dealer expects up to a few hundred advisors to take advantage of this new offering in the near term. Some 8,000 already rely on LPL Financial’s existing RIA business; this corporate-custody work includes some $75 billion in assets under management. (LPL’s total AUM stands at about $285 million.)