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LPL Rolls Out M&A Services

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LPL Financial said Thursday that it has launched M&A Solutions to help affiliated financial advisors grow through acquisitions or to sell their practices.

The news comes a week after LPL released its fourth-quarter earnings and said it was piloting a program to offer its suite of Business Solutions, which now includes six offerings, to non-affiliated advisors.

Last Thursday, CEO and President Dan Arnold cited M&A as a program which the firm “could easily take … and point … to [for] an advisor [who] doesn’t necessarily sit on our platform today, and help create growth opportunities associated with the practice by providing or plugging in to that type of solution.”

For LPL-affiliated advisors looking to make a purchase, for instance, the new M&A program gives them information and support so they can “differentiate themselves in the marketplace,” the firm said in a statement. They can also work with M&A professionals for “an exclusive first-look at practices for sale, discounted financing and more.”

Sellers are assisted “through each stage of the M&A process, helping position the practice for maximum value and fit, as well as facilitating the sale,” it explained.

“LPL’s mission to simplify advisor M&A led us to create one of the industry’s only services that provides resources, support and execution facilitated by an in-house team of professionals,” according to Jeremy Holly, LPL senior vice president and head of Advisor Financial Solutions.

More Business Solutions Details

Arnold says that since Business Solutions are subscription-based services, they give the firm “flexibility as to how an advisor can plug in and leverage the LPL platform — so that’s the premise where you have a bit more flexibility in this concept about being able to serve advisors outside of the LPL family.”

As of the fourth quarter, LPL has about 1,400 monthly subscriptions, “which is more than double the level a year ago,” he added.

LPL remains “focused on continuing to innovate and deliver” those services to LPL advisors, so “that’s where the majority of our allocation of investment goes across this strategic play and that’s allowing us to continue to learn and innovate on our offering,” the CEO said.

However, “our hypothesis is these services could potentially be offered to all 300,000 financial advisors in the marketplace,” he noted.

“If you think about that premise, if I’m operating my own business and I have local-level services that are necessary to support the operation of that business, well then we believe we could step in and create higher quality solutions at a lower cost using automation and digital capabilities to create real interesting scalability,” Arnold said.

The plan for outside advisors is just in an “experimental phase now” and “it’s early days of that experiment,” he added.

— Check out LPL Plans to Sell Business Services to Outside Advisors on ThinkAdvisor.


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