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LPL Nabs $1.2B Team From UBS

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What You Need to Know

  • The 10-member team from UBS managed about $1.2 billion in advisory and brokerage assets.
  • The team, now called Puzzle Wealth Solutions, is based in Schaumburg, Illinois, and has nearly 400 clients.
  • It focuses on financial planning, estate planning and portfolio management.

LPL Financial has added a 10-member team from UBS Financial Services that managed about $1.2 billion in advisory and brokerage assets.

The newly created Puzzle Wealth Solutions has joined LPL’s broker-dealer, hybrid RIA and custodial platforms, LPL said on Tuesday. The team is aligned with Gladstone Wealth Partners, which supports LPL-affiliated advisors.

Puzzle is led by CEO John Klaas, who is registered with LPL as a broker and with Gladstone as an advisor, according to his report on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s website.

Klaas started in 1988 as a solo practitioner and his firm has grown into its current 10-person team. He was registered as a broker and RIA with UBS since 2007 and before that was with Morgan Stanley since 1990.

“In a wirehouse environment, advisors are often strongly encouraged to use internal products or solutions,” Klaas said in the announcement. “Now, as independent advisors, we can offer improved transparency and operate in our clients’ best interests. That freedom is powerful and very refreshing.”

UBS declined to comment on losing the advisor team to LPL and Gladstone Wealth Management.

The Puzzle name is new, but the Schaumburg, Illinois-based firm has a long history in the Chicago area and has a client base of almost 400 corporate executives, business owners, families and affluent individuals, according to LPL.

The Puzzle team focuses on financial planning, estate planning and portfolio management.

The team also includes: David Millington, a certified financial planner who is Puzzle’s president and COO; Steven Connolly, a CFP who is its CIO, CCO and controller; Robert A. Davit, managing director; Karoline O’Connor, senior director of business development; Alexander W. Klaas, wealth advisor; Christopher J. Sagan, a wealth advisor who also has the CFP designation; Kathleen Miller, director of operations; Mark Gorman, director of trading; and Nicholas Shealy, operations.

“Our goal is to deliver a differentiated experience, not only to our clients but also to other advisors who will want to join Puzzle,” according to Millington. “We will take the pieces to their financial puzzle and coordinate them in a way to improve efficiencies, so that they can go enjoy the gift of more time. On top of that, the experience will be articulated clearly to them and help give them confidence to know what was accomplished.”

After a lot of research and due diligence, the team chose to partner with LPL and Gladstone in its move to independence, LPL said.

“We believe LPL has the most diverse and flexible custodial platform, coupled with innovative technology that can be customized for our team’s unique needs,” according to Klaas. “We chose Gladstone’s partner model because it provides an additional layer of support and resources,” he said. “They have a tremendous network of advisors and an experienced team that is aligned with our goals and growth plans. We look forward to expanding throughout the greater Chicago region.”

LPL now has more than 18,000 financial advisors, total advisory and brokerage assets of $958 billion and 450 independent RIA firms across the U.S., it says.