LPL Financial (LPLA) President Dan Arnold made the case for how the independent broker-dealer is addressing changes in regulation, technology and client expectations on Tuesday in San Diego, speaking to some 3,500 advisors and their staff (and more than 2,500 other guests) at the firm’s annual conference.
“It’s a lot to consider,” Arnold said. The job to be done, he says, is to “increase capacity, lower costs, evolve the value proposition and evolve in the face of change.”
As the firm zooms in on key areas of focus, it continues to enhance advisors’ service experience “as our top priority,” the executive explained. “We have heard you. The better [the service experience] is, the better your experience is, and the better you can serve your clients. It’s important to get it right.”
The IBD has boosted its yearly spending on technology from roughly $40 million to about $80 million, Arnold said separately during an interview with ThinkAdvisor.
LPL’s progress in this area was described in detail on Monday by Tom Gooley, head of service, trading and operations.
“Last year at this time, we took about two minutes to answer the phone. Now, we are down to an average of 17 seconds. This was achieved by adding 25% more people to the service [group],” Gooley said.
The group he leads rolled out a tool in May to track service tasks, “so you don’t need to call us, and that was 25% of calls. “We are taking two-day services processes down to one. With 75% of three-days processing being completed within one business day,” explained Gooley.
On Tuesday, Arnold spoke of assets doubling in the past five years to $200 billion in the Advisor Solutions division, with this segment representing 65% to 70% of new assets. “We need to boost capacity and lower costs, but that doesn’t mean we will forgo choice,” the president says.
The Advisor Solutions unit is piloting a robo-offering, Guided Wealth Portfolios, that will be fully introduced in January.