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LPL to Open Tech Hub in Texas

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A panorama of Austin, Texas A view of Austin, Texas. (Photo: Shutterstock)

LPL Financial says it is hiring for a new technology hub in Austin, Texas.

While the independent broker-dealer’s location should have more than 100 employees, the tech center will by no means be as large as its two campuses in San Diego and in the greater Charlotte, North Carolina, area.

“We believe technology is a strategic asset to our advisors’ businesses [and] … are committed to ensuring we have a leading workforce that can deliver on that goal,” according to Managing Director and Chief Information Officer Scott Seese.

“With its thriving startup environment, Austin is a great place to find talented, purpose-driven employees with advanced skills and innovative mindsets,” Seese added.

LPL’s tech center will be built in Paloma Ridge, which is part of northwest Austin.

The IBD spent some $150 million on technology last year but has not shared its anticipated 2020 tech budget; its overall general and administrative budget for this year should be $915 million to $940 million.

“It’s a bold move especially given the uncertainty around what things will look in terms of returning to work, but it makes sense to go where the talent is and where real estate is less expensive,” said Gavin Spitzner, head of Wealth Consulting Partners.

Reviewing the IBD’s job postings, “There are numerous automation and cognitive technology positions, signalling LPL’s continued focus on AI and robotic process automation,” Spitzner said.

“I was also encouraged that they’re moving ahead with their program to hire college grads for a multitude of IT positions. No shortage of those in Austin, Texas, and we need to get these kids into the workforce [to] help financial services modernize and innovate,” the consultant and industry veteran added.

A number of large industry players have been adding or expanding facilities in the Lone Star State, including Charles Schwab, which is moving its headquarters to the Dallas area after it wraps up its planned $26 billion merger with TD Ameritrade.

“Welcome to the Great State of Texas!” tweeted David Caviness, one of LPL’s 16,763 affiliated advisors, and a Dallas-based CFP.

Two weeks ago, LPL Financial beat analysts’ estimates for earnings and revenue for the period ending March 31. Its net income rose slightly from last year to $156 million, while earnings per share jumped 7% to $1.92.

Total revenues improved 7% from last year to $1.5 billion, with commissions up 9% to about $503 million and advisory revenues (or fees) up 28% to $579 million. Total net new asset inflows in the period were $12.5 billion, and recruited assets were $36.2 billion for the past four quarters.

— Check out LPL Provides $1M in Financial Support: Coronavirus Aid Roundup on ThinkAdvisor.


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