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LPL Delays Death of BranchNet, but Upgrades New Platform

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After some clamoring, LPL Financial advisors seem be getting what they wanted: A delayed phaseout of the BranchNet technology platform and upgrades to the new ClientWorks platform.

Andy Kalbaugh, head of National Sales and Consulting, sent advisors an email outlining the moves Friday afternoon and then posted the news on Twitter an hour later.

“Based on recent assessments, we’ve decided to postpone retiring BranchNet until later this year,” Kalbaugh said in the message.

(Related: LPL Wraps Up NPH Deal, Adds Second Wave of Reps)

Judging from comments on Twitter, LPL’s course correction—it had planned to phase out BranchNet in late April—was the right move.

“We’ve devoted a great deal of time to learning and mastering ClientWorks, and we still find BranchNet to be a critically important tool for certain applications,” advisor Zachary Shrier responded on Twitter.

“I love ClientWorks. My assistants hate it. They are very happy you decided to keep BranchNet until the end of the year. My only suggestion is it’s gotta be faster!” said advisor Brad Ledwith.

More on Tech Plans

To  further improve ClientWorks, which has about 37,000 users, LPL, an independent broker-dealer, is “making more than $15 million in upgrades in 2018, including 40-plus in the next 60 days” to boost its trading, account management and other functions, according to the executive.

LPL also plans to do more work “ensuring that the trading functionality has the resiliency you need and deserve” and monitoring ClientWorks “for systems performance … [to respond] to your needs as we fine-tune performance over time.”

Kalbaugh appeared to be taking the tech issues in stride when he tweeted this line from Michael Jordan on Saturday: “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it.”

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