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Doug Ketterer and Bill Morrissey

Practice Management > Building Your Business > Leadership

Atria Adds Former LPL Exec to Push Indie Growth Strategy

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What You Need to Know

  • Atria Wealth Solutions hired industry veteran Bill Morrissey to serve as head of its independent channel, a new role.
  • The channel has roughly 1,500 advisors.
  • The firm plans to continue a strategy of thoughtful growth, not just growth for growth's sake, CEO Doug Ketterer says.

Atria Wealth Solutions has hired LPL Financial veteran Bill Morrissey to serve as head of its independent channel, a newly created role at the firm, which has both a broker-dealer and registered investment advisor.

The addition represents the “next stage” of its growth strategy and was “designed to further expand and advance the firm’s rapid growth in the independent wealth management space,” the company said Tuesday.

Morrissey, who was with LPL Financial for 14 years (from 2004 to 2018) and served as managing director and divisional president from 2016 to 2018, now reports directly to Doug Ketterer, Atria CEO and founding partner.

Morrissey previously had several senior executive, board and advisory roles with wealth management firms, including Fidelity Investments and Merrill Lynch, and wealth-tech firms. He most recently was head of wealth management at Guardian Life Insurance.

“When Atria offered me this new role, it really struck me as an opportunity to both lead a fast-growing segment of an industry-leading firm, as well as play a big role in the firm’s evolution,” Morrissey told ThinkAdvisor in a phone interview on Monday.

“Over the course of my career, I think I’ve developed a set of competencies that I can leverage to help advisors grow their business and do a better job or do a great job supporting the needs of their clients,” he added.

Atria’s staff now includes nearly 2,500 advisors and brokers; about 60% are in the independent channel and 40% in the financial institution division, according to Ketterer. Overall, they work with $100 billion of assets under administration.

The firm’s units include Cadaret, Grant & Co., NEXT Financial Group, Western International Securities, SCF Securities, CUSO Financial Services and Sorrento Pacific Financial. Atria was recently recognized by ThinkAdvisor as a 2022 LUMINARIES winner in executive leadership.

Atria’s Growth Strategy

“If you think about all great successful firms, they evolve, and Atria is no different,” Ketterer said during the interview.

“As we look to the future, we’re really excited in our ability to capture a tremendous amount of the opportunity out there in wealth management,” he said.

“Having the opportunity to bring somebody like Bill on our team and be part of already a world-class team and what he’s accomplished in his career and his background” will help Atria “continue our thoughtful growth, not just growth for growth’s sake,” he said.

Ketterer added: “We have the scale to do what we want now. And, as we think about the future, it’s very much quality over quantity” that the firm is looking for.

Atria’s growth strategy is “very much trying to be the best, not the biggest,” he said. “We are not a rollup and never embarked to just be an aggregator and just indiscriminately buy firms at all.”

This continues to be a “consolidating industry” in which the “small to midsize firms don’t have the scale that they need to provide their clients” with what they need from a “resources, platform and service perspective,” he said, predicting “consolidation will continue for quite a while.”

For Atria, “if there’s opportunities for us from a cultural, from a strategic perspective, then we would pursue those,” he said. “But we don’t have to, nor would we ever just go out and buy things just because either they’re for sale or they’re just a scale play. They need to make sense for us, for our organization and our clients.”

Noting that Atria is celebrating its fifth anniversary this month, Ketterer told ThinkAdvisor: “To say we’ve come a long way in a very short period of time is an incredible understatement.”

He said: “The terms wirehouse, RIA, hybrid, IBD, I’m not quite sure honestly what they mean anymore because they’ve all melded together. [These] terms to me don’t mean anything anymore. The way we describe ourselves [is] we’re an independent wealth management firm.”

(Pictured: Doug Ketterer, left, and Bill Morrissey)


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