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Commonwealth Nabs LPL Exec as General Counsel

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What You Need to Know

  • Peggy Ho spent 14 years at LPL, most recently as head of government relations and chief of staff for compliance, legal and risk.
  • She reports to President and COO Trap Kloman and is replacing Jim Adelman, who plans to retire later this year.h the firm.
  • “I’m excited to be a part of a firm that is focused on it [diversity and inclusion], and invested in it,” Ho explained.

Due to the pandemic, Peggy Ho began her first day as the general counsel of Commonwealth Financial Network in the same chair where she sat to bid farewell to her last job.

On Monday, she became the general counsel and senior vice president of the broker-dealer and RIA, which works with over 2,000 independent financial advisors. Based in Waltham, Massachusetts, Ho will oversee a legal department of five attorneys and five support staff.

She reports to President and Chief Operating Officer Trap Kloman and is replacing Jim Adelman, who plans to retire later this year after 17 years with the firm.

Ho most recently served as the executive vice president of government relations and chief of staff of compliance, legal and risk at LPL Financial. She has also served as deputy general counsel, chief of staff of legal and head of government relations and associate general counsel at the broker-dealer and RIA, where she spent 14 years.

Before going in-house, Ho was a senior corporate associate at Ropes & Gray for seven years. She graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 2000.

“We are thrilled to welcome Peggy to the Commonwealth community,” Kloman said, in a prepared statement. “Peggy joins us with a wealth of experience that includes compliance, legal, risk management and government advocacy. In the ever-evolving regulatory landscape in our industry, we will rely heavily on her knowledge and insights to move our firm forward.”

Why She Made the Move

In an interview, Ho said she was drawn to Commonwealth Financial Network because of the culture of the company. She had always heard good things about the firm and thought if the opportunity came up, she’d like to work there.

The company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, Ho said, is exciting. In fact, on her first day, she reached out to Commonwealth’s newly hired chief diversity and inclusion officer, Scarlett Abraham Clarke, to get involved in the firm’s diversity and inclusion efforts.

“All firms need to be prepared to listen, to provide transparency and space for their employees to engage and talk about how these events are impacting them,” Ho said. “I’m excited to be a part of a firm that is focused on it [diversity and inclusion], and invested in it.”

More on this topic

In many companies, the head of human resources and the general counsel are often seen as the leaders of diversity and inclusion. Ho said that should change to be more all-encompassing.

“All leaders need to be a part of it. The legal department will have a role in it. At the end of the day, if we want to be a more inclusive society with more inclusive workplaces it requires leadership from all parts of the organization,” Ho said.

Details on the Transition

In an interview Tuesday, Ho said Adelman now has the title of senior counsel and is assisting with Ho’s transition. Adelman will move to a part-time role at the end of the month until he retires.

Starting a new job during the pandemic has been strange, Ho said.

“The good news is that we’ve been at this for over a year now, and all of us are used to doing things over video calls,” Ho said.

She said the onboarding process on her first day ran smoothly, even though she is not sure when she can meet her team in person. For the first few weeks at Commonwealth, Ho wants to learn how to add value to the businesses and get a better understanding of the company’s operations.

Ho said she has a few preliminary ideas of what she may want to try in the legal department to create more value, but declined to be specific. It was only her second day on the job.

“I want to add value, but it is important for me to get to know everybody first and to understand how everything works,” she said.