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Industry Spotlight > Broker Dealers

Ladenburg Thalmann to Acquire Securities Service Network

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Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc.  announced Monday that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Securities Service Network Inc., a broker-dealer, RIA and insurance agency based in Knoxville, Tennessee.

“We’re really thrilled that [President and CEO Wade Wilkinson] and his management team will continue to lead SSN in the years to come,” said Richard Lampen, president and CEO of Ladenburg Thalmann, to ThinkAdvisor. “It’s really, for us, the perfect addition both culturally, as well as financially, to bring SSN to the Ladenburg family, and we couldn’t be more thrilled about the acquisition.”  

Lampen also said that that the firm was thrilled about SSN’s growth over the past 30 years and its commitment to helping clients reach their financial goals.

“Like all members of the Ladenburg Thalmann family, SSN will keep the caring, relationship-oriented culture that has defined it while obtaining access to a wide variety of products and services to remain competitive, meet the changing needs of clients and grow over the long term,” Lampen said.

According to Lampen, Ladenburg will pay $45 million, consisting of a $25 million cash payment and $20 million in four-year notes.

The deal will broaden Ladenburg’s network of independent brokerage and advisory firms.

For SSN’s part, its advisors will be able to access the Ladenburg repertoire of product and service offerings, such as wealth management services through Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management, investment banking and capital markets resources, institutional-quality equity research, a fixed-income trading desk, specialized point-of-sale support for life insurance products through Highland Capital Brokerage, and advisor-friendly trust services through Premier Trust, according to a statement.

“We’re equally excited with Ladenburg because we have found a likeminded culture that is going to … bring new resources to help our advisors grow the business,” Wilkinson told ThinkAdvisor. 

SSN has approximately 450 financial advisors, registered representatives and insurance agents nationwide. As of June 30, the firm had approximately $13 billion in client assets and generated yearly revenues of approximately $115 million.

“This acquisition further underscores Ladenburg’s commitment to the independent brokerage and advisory industry, which we believe is one of the sweet spots of the financial services industry,” said Dr. Phillip Frost, Chairman of Ladenburg’s board and its principal shareholder, in a statement. “SSN’s culture, emphasizing support for the success of its advisors and clients, makes it a natural fit for what we are building at Ladenburg.”

Lampen hopes that this SSN acquisition and Ladenburg’s pending acquisition of KMS Financial Services will be completed by the end of this calendar year. After these transactions are complete, Ladenburg’s network of independent brokerage and advisory firms will grow to 4,000 financial advisors with $125 billion of client assets, and their annual revenues will be approximately $1.1 billion. 

“We are committed to the welfare of each and every one of our clients because we consider them friends and neighbors. Ladenburg enables us to maintain this philosophy while providing the products, services and technology we need to grow,” Wilkinson said in the statement. “Our existing culture, where entrepreneurial advisors can thrive in the business of helping clients achieve their goals, has led to national recognition and many client relationships that extend to multiple generations. We are proud to have reached this level of maturity, and look forward to continuing along this path with tools and support from Ladenburg.” 

Check out where Ladenburg Thalmann ranked on ThinkAdvisor’s 12 Best & Worst Broker-Dealers: Q2 Earnings, 2014.


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