Greg Cornick is now president of Advice and Wealth Management at Advisor Group.

The Advisor Group of independent broker-dealers, which completed its purchase of the Ladenburg Thalmann in mid-February, says it has hired a former executive from LPL Financial and made a series of other leadership shifts. 

Gregory Cornick is now Advisor Group’s president of Advice and Wealth Management. He was with LPL for the past six years and served as executive vice president, treasurer and head of Corporate Development and Advisor Financial Solutions. 

The move could support one of Advisor Group’s possible branding strategies: positioning itself as “the LPL alternative,“ a term recruiter Jon Henschen said was being discussed at Advisor Group after it announced its big deal with Ladenburg in November. 

(LPL is self-clearing, while Advisor Group and Ladenburg firms are dual clearing.)

But Jamie Price, president and CEO of Advisor Group, insists the role being assumed by Cornick was “on the docket” prior to the Ladenburg deal.

“We want to continue to forge the senior leadership team to drive our growth strategy …, and that’s not defined by LPL or anything but Greg’s capabilities,” Price said in an interview, adding that the firm wants to “carve out its own horse race.” 

For his part, Cornick says he has “a ton of respect for LPL.” 

While with the rival IBD firm, “I watched and admired Advisor Group’s momentum built around its multi-brand, multi-custodial platform,” he added. “I observed Jamie and his team and am now excited to join it.”

Moody’s Downgrade

Price also addressed Advisor Group’s credit rating, which Moody’s Investors Service cut last week to B3 from B2 in response to the Federal Reserve’s cut in interest rates and the effect on profits.  

“The news came as no surprise whatsoever,” Price said. “All [broker-dealers] are under watch, and we’re no different.” 

Advisor Group, he explained is “of a sufficient size and scale with a solid financial [backer], Reverence Partners, … and we have more cash on the balance sheet than ever … to weather a storm like this.”  

The firm now has some 11,300 financial professionals and $450 billion in client assets. Its nine broker-dealers are FSC Securities, Royal Alliance, SagePoint Financial, Woodbury Financial, Securities America, Triad Advisors, Investacorp, KMS Financial Services and Securities Service Network.

Other leadership moves announced late Monday by Advisor Group include:

  • Gregg Johnson, earlier Securities America’s executive vice president of Branch Office Development and Acquisitions, is now executive vice president of Recruiting & Revenue Acquisition for Advisor Group, a newly created position.
  • Cindy Hamel has expanded responsibilities and has shifted from the role of executive vice president for Strategic Initiatives to that of chief strategy and corporate development officer.
  • Matthew Schlueter has been named president of Products and Platforms with oversight of Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management, Premier Trust and the Highland Capital Brokerage insurance business.