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LPL Financial’s new affiliation model  aimed at adding wirehouse and other employee advisors  has brought on its first team from Wells Fargo.

Advisors Mike Ashworth, CFP; Steve Collie, CFP; and Katheryn Gordon are now part of Ashworth Financial Group, which works with about $300 billion in assets and is based in North Carolina. 

“Going independent is a big move that ultimately brings more responsibility for me as a business owner,” Ashworth said in a statement. “With the services LPL has assembled, it created a clear path to independence.”

LPL’s Strategic Wealth Services works with advisors on their office setup, branding and marketing efforts, as well as office administration, technology support and financial management.

“The business management support is huge, especially having help to set up benefits and payroll services and having a CFO to create business strategies for the business and then keep us on track to our goals,” added Ashworth.

LPL says it’s pleased to have the group on board, according to Rich Steinmeier, divisional president of Business Development.

“Established advisors who want to transition into business ownership face a unique set of challenges,” he explained in a statement. “The model is designed to give more advisors access to independence by removing the barriers they face, while elevating the overall experience associated with owning their business.”

Team Members

Ashworth, the firm’s founder and managing director, got his start in the business in 1998 at PaineWebber. He soon moved to A.G. Edwards, which later became part of Wells Fargo. 

Collie began his career at A.G. Edwards in 1997, while Gordon joined Wells Fargo in 2016. The three advisors made the move with Lisa Murphy, director of client relations.

“I’m excited about change and new possibilities with this next chapter, and I am confident this is a great move for our team and my clients,” said Ashworth, a father of four and a member of the Polk County School Board. “We want to make an impact, both in our community and clients’ lives.”

The segment LPL is trying to recruit from is significant, with some $11 trillion of client assets, Steinmeier says. 

Beyond the 53,000-plus advisors with Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, UBS Americas and Wells Fargo Advisors, there are many in employee channels at firms like Raymond James & Associates (3,300), Ameriprise Financial (2,130) and JPMorgan (2,880).