LPL Financial’s campus in San Diego.

LPL Financial says it’s moving its financial advisors away from voice-based contact for some services and support. Instead, the 16,763 affiliated advisors will use new live chat and call-me request technology on LPL’s ClientWorks platform. 

In addition, when calling LPL, advisors can use options for callback assistance and voice-response routing to reach a service professional about a particular task.

“With these enhancements, advisors are able to streamline their efforts to gather accurate information, saving them time and leaving them confident with the service they receive from LPL as their partner,” according to Chief Customer Care Officer Dayton Semerjian. 

The independent broker-dealer says it’s added on-demand access and self-service capabilities to help advisors make fewer calls and “minimize interruptions in their workflows,” Semerjian explained. 

As of March 31, LPL’s total assets were $670 billion, with fee-based (or advisory) assets accounting for nearly half, or $322 billion.

Total net new asset inflows in the first quarter were $12.5 billion, and recruited assets were $8.4 billion.

LaSalle St. Adds Help Desk

Separately, LaSalle St.  which includes a BD, RIA and insurance-services business has rolled out a new fund and annuity help desk for its 300 advisors. 

The firm designed the help desk “in direct response to rising pressure that financial advisors across the industry are facing from their broker-dealers and corporate RIAs to migrate client assets held directly by mutual funds and insurance companies onto their firm’s platforms,” according to Mark Contey, head of business development for LaSalle St.

Some firms may discuss such a strategy as being “for compliance and supervisory reasons, [but] this is all too frequently about bringing more assets aboard to increase broker-dealer and RIA platform fees,” Contey explained.

Instead, LaSalle St. sees its new help desk as a way for advisors to get needed supervision for assets held directly at insurance and mutual fund companies, the firm says.

The firm’s platform currently has about $10 billion in total client assets. Close to half of the assets overseen by its affiliated advisors are held off its platform.

Its new help desk can give advisors information on third-party products, third-party fees, recordkeeping and regulations.  

As an alternative to “forcing advisors to move [variable annuity and mutual fund] assets, we welcome the ‘direct business’ approach,” explained LaSalle St. CFO Dan Schlesser, in a statement.