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Portfolio > Portfolio Construction

LPL Picks Up Portfolio Tool Maker for $12M

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LPL Financial's San Diego campus. LPL Financial’s San Diego campus.

LPL Financial has acquired Blaze Portfolio, the maker of portfolio trading and rebalancing tools that the independent broker-dealer plans to integrate into its advisor platform and offer to other industry players.

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The IBD, which inked the deal Monday, paid $12 million up front and agreed to a possible extra payment of up to $5 million “subject to milestones and customary purchase price adjustments,” it said.

In addition to giving its advisors trading capabilities, the transaction lets LPL sell Blaze Portfolio’s products and services to other members of the wealth management industry. The IBD also said it plans to keep “the talented team of employees who will continue to evolve and expand the Blaze Portfolio technology offering.”

News of the Blaze deal comes nearly two years after the IBD paid $28 million for AdvisoryWorld, which helps LPL-affiliated and other advisors with proposals for prospective clients, investment analytics and portfolio construction.

“For many advisors, our trading platform is their lifeblood, and the way they express and execute their investment strategies for their clients in a sophisticated way,” LPL Chief Investment Officer Burt White explained in a statement.

“It’s important, therefore, that we continue to invest in our offering to help them differentiate, grow and win in the marketplace,” White said. “Acquiring Blaze Portfolio will enable us to provide our advisors with a dynamic trading and rebalancing system that can be utilized by practices of all sizes, affiliations and sophistications to meet their clients’ needs.”

Chicago-based Blaze, founded in 2010, works with about 135 investment firms, RIAs, family offices, broker-dealers and other firms.

“We are excited to join LPL because of our shared commitment to innovation and focus on delivering best-in-class advisor technology,” said Blaze Portfolio CEO Bryson Pouw, in a statement. “With LPL, we have opportunity to scale, expand the capabilities of our product and partner with an experienced team to design technology around the advisor experience.”

LPL ended the second quarter with 16,973 advisors, up 812 — or about 5% — from the year-ago quarter, and up 251 — or about 1% — from the prior period. It reports its third-quarter earnings late Thursday.

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