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LPL Financial Promotes Compliance Chief to Managing Director

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LPL Financial (LPLA) said Thursday that Chief Compliance Officer Sharyn Handelsman is now a managing director of the company.

“Sharyn has done an outstanding job developing LPL’s compliance function,” said Michelle Oroschakoff, chief risk officer and managing director, in a statement. “Her deep and broad experience in the field has delivered a unique perspective and tremendous expertise to the firm as we build a superior control environment.”

This news follows the March 3 announcement that CFO Dan Arnold was replacing Robert Moore as president of the firm. Moore left to become CEO of Legal & General Investment Management America. This came on the heels of news in late February that the indie broker-dealer planned to spend $9 million to restructure its high-net-worth operations, which do business under the Fortigent brand.

According to LPL, the compliance group “has gained better alignment and become more efficient” under Handelsman’s leadership. The business unit includes over 300 employees, or about 10% of LPL’s workforce. More positions will be added to the group in 2015, “demonstrating LPL’s commitment to protecting its advisors and institutions as well as their clients,” the firm says.

Handelsman joined LPL in 2010 and became head of compliance and brokerage chief compliance officer in January 2014.

A year ago, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority fined LPL Financial $950,000 for supervisory deficiencies related to the sales of alternative investment products, including nontraded real estate investment trusts (REITs). In mid-October, LPL Financial agreed to pay close to $541,100 to senior citizens in Massachusetts after it failed to properly disclose surrender charges these clients paid when switching variable annuities.

Also October, LPL Financial said it planned to take a third-quarter regulatory charge of $23 million, about $18 million more than initially anticipated. It explained at the time that its full-year regulatory costs of 2014 were expected to be $32 million.

In the first half of 2014, LPL expensed $9 million in charges.

Earlier this year, when it released its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings, the independent broker-dealer explained that it paid close to $5 million for regulatory charges in Q4’14. For the year, these expenses were $36.3 million, including fines and restitution. In addition, the firm says these charges “were approximately four times” the average level it paid in 2012 and 2013.

— Check out LPL Adds 2 Execs to Fortigent in Reshuffle on ThinkAdvisor.