With advisor interest in the independent model at a historic high, Derek Bruton’s appointment as national sales manager for the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer network could not have come at a more auspicious time.
As Bruton, 42, frames it: “It reminds me of a quote from Wayne Gretsky: ‘A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.’ I really think the LPL Financial model represents where the puck is going to be.”
Bruton joined LPL in 2007 to manage the firm’s newly acquired broker-dealer affiliates — Mutual Service Corp., Waterstone Financial Group and Associated Securities. When he was named national sales manager in late March, his responsibility soared more than six-fold. The three affiliates, which he continues to oversee as chief executive officer, have 1,800 brokers. LPL Financial Independent Advisor Services has 11,000.
“I’m absolutely thrilled — partly because of the responsibility and partly because of the company and the huge opportunity,” said Bruton, who served as managing director and national sales manager at TD Ameritrade Institutional prior to joining LPL.
“We’ve got a longstanding reputation of being laser-focused on just one mission: helping advisors grow their business and serving the American investor. We’ve avoided business conflicts that have endangered a lot of other business models, as you’re seeing in the industry today,” he adds. “We truly believe the independent advisory model is the model of choice.”
BRUTON’S TAKE ON THE CURRENT CLIMATE: “More so than I’ve seen in my career, advisors are more willing and anxious to get help from their broker-dealer. They recognize opportunity is knocking at the door and we at LPL really need to answer it.”
As the key management player responsible for the advisory group’s business development, Bruton says he will focus on driving advisors’ satisfaction, supporting the growth of their business and serving as an advocate for their needs.
In the last year, despite market challenges, the three affiliates under Bruton saw new account volume rise “at a tremendous rate” — a trajectory he expects to see continue firm-wide as unhappy investors seek out new advisor relationships.
Bruton reports to Bill Dwyer, LPL Financial Independent Advisor Services president, who calls Bruton’s early success in integrating the affiliates into LPL a “milestone.” Clearly, it was also Bruton’s proving ground.