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Industry Spotlight > Mergers and Acquisitions

LPL Adds $4.4B Bank Program With Nearly 30 Advisors

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LPL Financial continues to grow its footprint in the institutional sector and said Tuesday that it reached a deal with Commerce Bank to move Commerce Financial Advisors onto LPL’s Institution Services platform.

Commerce Financial Advisors, the retail brokerage and advisory division of Commerce Bank subsidiary Commerce Brokerage Services, is made up of almost 30 financial advisors who collectively served about $4.4 billion of brokerage and advisory assets as of Nov.15, the companies said in a joint announcement.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, and LPL didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Just as Commerce is committed to providing the best service experience to their clients, LPL is committed to providing their advisors with the best technology, digital capabilities, and planning resources, to differentiate their offering, and continue to grow their wealth management program,” said Ken Hullings, senior vice president of Enterprise Business  Development at LPL, in a statement.

“We look forward to partnering with the team at Commerce and enhancing their ability to serve a marketplace with an increasing demand for personalized financial advice,” Hullings added.

Explaining why his team selected LPL, Commerce Trust CEO James Handy stated: “Commerce Financial Advisors has always been focused on helping our clients meet their financial goals through a tailored investment strategy, and LPL is the right partner to help us meet and exceed our client’s investment goals.”

LPL Financial’s wealth management platform “and focus on user experience will provide tremendous value to our advisors and allow them to deliver an advanced service experience to our clients,” Handy added.

Commerce Bank is a subsidiary of Commerce Bancshares, which said it had $32.6 billion in assets as of Sept. 30.

LPL now has more than 21,000 financial advisors, including advisors at about 1,100 institution-based investment programs and at roughly 500 registered investment advisor firms across the U.S., it said.

Earlier this month, the firm announced plans to buy one of its largest branch offices: Financial Resources Group Investment Services, which has 800 advisors working with 85 financial institutions and $40 billion of advisory and brokerage assets. Based in Fort Mill, South Carolina, FRGIS operates as an affiliated office of supervisory jurisdiction with LPL.

The deal, which LPL expects to close in 2023, is structured as an equity purchase and includes $140 million to be paid at closing, with “additional earn-out payments” to be made over the following three years, according to a press release.