LPL Financial says that it has bought the technology firm AdvisoryWorld for $28 million in cash to help its advisors improve their ability to “turn prospects into clients,” according to Burt White, managing director, Investor and Investment Solutions, and chief investment officer of the independent broker-dealer.

“The magic of AdvisoryWorld is that it takes advisor workloads — the component pieces of the work done by advisors  supporting the client — and … can generate proposals for new accounts, for instance,” White said in an interview. “It brings this task and others to life in an integrated way … as we never have.”

Technology “is really the secret sauce when it comes to the delivery of a thriving practice and differentiated offering,” the LPL executive said.  

AdvisoryWorld is used by 30,000 advisors affiliated with LPL and many other broker-dealers for investment analytics, portfolio construction and proposals. The tech firm will continue to sell its tools to the broader wealth industry. “This is an excellent opportunity to serve [advisors] better by leveraging LPL resources,” said AdvisoryWorld President and COO Michael Wilson.

For LPL, spending money on tech M&A — rather than on acquiring advisors and other BD resources — is an acknowledgement of the increasing role technology plays in its advisors’ and ultimately its own business results.

“This story is about our commitment to deliver innovation to help advisors thrive,” White explained, “and that means having state-of-the-art technology to convert prospect to clients. We’re excited. Our goal is to deliver the very best for our clients in integration.”

LPL advisors now have access to AdvisoryWorld; it will become an integrated part of the ClientWorks platform and ClientWorks Connected technology network in 2019.

This summer, the IBD said Black Diamond was being added as a third-party performance reporting tech partner, joining Morningstar Office, Orion and Albridge. It also announced that Riskalyze’s risk-scoring software became part of its Vendor Affinity Program.