LPL Financial and Advantage Financial Group announced Thursday that AFG’s equity partnership of 63 independent advisors with $2 billion in client assets will now affiliate with LPL. Joe Russo, chairman of the Financial Services Institute (FSI), is AFG’s founder and will continue to lead the firm.
Before its transition to the LPL Financial broker-dealer platform, AFG was affiliated with the broker-dealer National Planning Corp., which is owned by Jackson National. AFG was NPC’s primary office of supervisory jurisdiction (OSJ), with a total of 54 branch offices. The 63 AFG-affiliated indie advisors are now transitioning their securities registrations from NPC to LPL Financial, bringing client assets of approximately $2 billion.
In an interview with AdvisorOne, Russo (left) described the move to LPL as a two-year-long process that AFG undertook as it created a philosophy reflecting “the strong currents that are sweeping through the industry.”
The FSI chairman said AFG, which is based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has evolved a structure akin to a law or accounting firm that abides by fiduciary obligations. In its search for a partner, AFG had hired a consultant, Gladstone, which introduced the two firms.
“We had conversations with what we felt were every player in the industry,” Russo said. “In the final analysis, it was very obvious that LPL’s size and capabilities made for a very compelling strategic partner. They can accommodate our hybrid practices as well as our subsidiary, the RIA firm Advantage Investment Management.”
For San Diego and Boston-based LPL Financial, this move represents a significant step in its efforts to become the go-to provider of broker-dealer and custodial services for producer groups nationwide, said Bill Morrissey, LPL’s executive vice president of business development.