LPL Financial has agreed to buy Waddell & Reed’s wealth management business, which has 921 independent advisors and $63 billion of assets under administration, from Macquarie Asset Management for $300 million.
Also, LPL and Macquarie are forming a long-term arrangement, with Australia-based Macquarie becoming a key asset management partner of the independent broker-dealer.
The deal comes amidst a series of M&As in the financial industry and about six weeks after rumors circulated that JPMorgan and possibly Lazard were considering Waddell & Reed as an acquisition target. This industry chatter circulated just days after Morgan Stanley said it was buying Eaton Vance for $7 billion and Charles Schwab wrapped up its $22 billion purchase of TD Ameritrade.
LPL says it will complete the transaction after Macquarie Group has acquired all issued and outstanding common shares of parent company Waddell & Reed Financial for $1.7 billion. As part of the deal, Macquarie — which has about $410 billion in global assets — is acquiring Ivy Investments and some $68 billion of assets.
“Waddell & Reed advisors are highly experienced and well-respected throughout the industry. They are a terrific fit both culturally and strategically, and we welcome them to the LPL family,” said Dan Arnold, president and CEO of LPL Financial, in a statement.
As of Sept. 30, LPL had 17,168 financial advisors; thus, if most Waddell & Reed advisors join it, that headcount figure could top 18,000.