What You Need to Know
- The IBD expects to bring on 900 advisors from the Waddell & Reed purchase, which closed Friday.
- Among BDs, only Bank of America seems to have more advisors.
- LPL's Steinmeier says the deal's success makes the firm “more emboldened to think about M&A.”
LPL Financial could have over 18,500 affiliated financial advisors after more than 900 Waddell & Reed advisors join its platform over the next few months.
The independent broker-dealer wrapped up its $300 million purchase of W&R’s wealth management business from Macquarie Management Holdings on Friday and announced that over 900 of Waddell & Reed advisors had committed to join it.
Prior to the completion of the acquisition, LPL had 17,672 advisors, according to its first-quarter financial report.
Among other broker-dealers, only Bank of America appears to top LPL’s expected headcount of 18,500.
Broker-dealers report their advisor headcount figures differently. In the first quarter, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley, for instance, stopped reporting the exact number of its financial advisors.
Instead, BofA now shares the total number of wealth advisors across its Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Bank of America Private Bank and Consumer Investments businesses. Most of these individuals hold Series 7 and 66 licenses.
At the end of March, this BofA figure stood at 19,808, while the asset level of the wealth unit was roughly $3.5 trillion. In the prior quarter, BofA reported that it had 17,458 financial advisors, who were included in its total wealth advisor headcount of 19,440 as of Dec. 31, 2020.