LPL Beats The Industry On Recruiting, Touts RIA Growth In Its Latest Earnings

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 06:55
LPL Beats The Industry On Recruiting, Touts RIA Growth In Its Latest Earnings

Tags: independent broker-dealers | LPL

LPL may do a victory lap this morning for reporting that it captured more advisors than anyone else and is already becoming one of the biggest RIA custodians.

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The company, which has evolved into the biggest independent broker-dealer out there, also boosted its earnings 92% on an annualized basis, but plenty of names in the business are hitting blow-out numbers like that this quarter.


But in terms of growth, LPL is leading the pack. Buried in the company's release -- and so missed by some reports -- is the tidbit that the 528 new advisors it added last quarter were "more ... than any other broker-dealer in the U.S."


On a percentage basis, that's maybe 4.4% net growth -- well ahead of the industry norm, where many firms have been struggling to simply keep from shrinking.


Retention is only a little better, so many of these advisors are simply being wooed from other independent broker-dealers or acquired in M&A.


LPL also wants the world to know that it's been building its RIA custody business to the point where it serves as custodian for about $15 billion and 115 RIA firms. 


That's double what the firm had on the RIA side last year, but still pretty far behind the real giants. 


However, CEO Mark Casady says the M&A will continue to boost his AUM across the business -- if he can find higher-quality targets than the "distressed" broker-dealers that are coming to him.


He wants to buy firms with established parent companies, which could make Securities America an interesting center of speculation down the road.

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