LPL Financial says Chief Information Officer Victor Fetter is leaving the firm and will be replaced on July 10 by Scott Seese, who has been CIO of American Express’ global consumer business unit and of eBay.
The change comes about six months after Dan Arnold stepped into the CEO slot left by the retiring Mark Casady, who also acted as chairman. Previously, Arnold was president of the independent broker-dealer, a role he took on in 2015, when Robert Moore departed. Three weeks ago, LPL’s general counsel left the firm.
LPL’s stock traded down about 0.75% at just under $41 per share on Thursday.
At least two recruiters are upbeat on the large IBD’s CIO news.
“Even though they have had numerous management changes, the insecurity that such changes can bring to advisors has been offset with improved recruiting, a regulatory environment that makes large firms looked upon as a safe haven and [Financial Industry Regulatory Authority] fines that reflect a slowdown in arbitrations,” said Jon Henschen of Henschen & Associates.
Technology has become a very important part of attracting advisors, according to Mark Elzweig of Mark Elzweig Company, a search firm in New York.
“It is a key element in an advisor’s decision to join a rival firm or to stay with his or her current firm. A firm’s technological prowess shapes the day-to-day experience of both advisors and their clients,” he explained.
Plus, LPL has made an interesting decision to hire an executive who has experience with large consumer-oriented companies rather than just grabbing a CIO from a rival BD.
“Bringing in a heavy hitter who worked for a successful consumer-oriented company like American Express could be really good for LPL,” said Elzweig. “Hopefully, he’ll contribute fresh ideas and a new perspective. It’s a big deal.”
LPL’s CEO seems to agree.
“I’m excited to welcome Scott to our management team, and I’m confident in his ability to transform our technology products and platforms from utility to strategic assets,” explained Arnold in a statement.
In May, LPL had total brokerage and advisory assets of $540 billion, up nearly 1% from April. Of these, brokerage assets were $306.0 billion, while advisory assets were $233.5 billion.