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LPL Financial says it is buying Lucia Securities, a San Diego-based wealth group with about 20 advisors and $1.5 billion of client assets under management.

The deal has been structured as an asset purchase agreement, which includes a payment at closing (expected by year-end) and potential contingency payments, according to LPL. It is valued at roughly six times post-merger earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (or EBITDA.)

“We are honored and excited to have this terrific group of experienced advisors joining LPL,” said Rich Steinmeier, head of Business Development for LPL, in a statement.

Lucia Securities is now led by Ray Lucia Jr., who sees the firm’s wealth platform, “enhanced with LPL’s culture, technology and capabilities, [as] provid[ing] the ideal environment for our financial advisors to exceed clients’ expectations,” according to a statement.

In 2010, Lucia Jr. bought the business from his father, Raymond Lucia Sr., who’d founded the firm in 1995.

Lucia Sr., a former advisor, was barred from the industry by the SEC in 2013 and has not been affiliated with the firm since around that time. Regulators said he falsely told investors that his “Buckets of Money” strategy had been “back tested.”

The now retired radio host and author, though, continued to challenge the SEC over the matter. In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in his favor — not over the back testing, but over the status of the administrative law judges who first brought the charges against him; the proceedings continue.