LPL’s Headcount Nears 22,000 Thanks to Hires from Indie Rivals

While wirehouses have been obscuring broker headcount, LPL Financial can claim bragging rights as its roster hit a record at nearly 22,000.

LPL, the largest independent broker-dealer, added a net 421 advisors for the second quarter, bringing headcount up 2% sequentially to 21,942, according to its second quarter earnings report on Thursday. It added a total of 1,071 brokers year-over-year.

LPL’s recruited assets, or the total it expects new hires to bring from their prior firms, hit $19 billion, a record excluding prior periods when the company had brought on a large practice or firm.

LPL Chief Executive Dan Arnold said that while broker movement had remained relatively flat at about 5% turnover industry-wide, the mix joining LPL was shifting slightly. More of LPL’s hires were coming from its traditional independent market while there has been a “slowdown from the wires,” he said.

The San Diego-based firm has been taking advantage of the “churn” created by restructurings and consolidation among independent broker-dealers, Arnold said. “We think we are well positioned across all of our different affiliation models to make sure that we can capitalize,” he added.

LPL earlier this year sweetened recruiting bonuses for fee-based brokers at rivals including two of its largest independent competitors, Cetera Financial Group and Osaic, which rebranded from Advisor Group as part of a reorganization.

The firm also announced earlier this week its plan to acquire a California broker-dealer and registered investment advisory firm, Crown Capital, which has around 260 brokers.

LPL’s transition assistance loan amortization, a measure of costs tied to recruiting bonuses, shot up 18% in the quarter to $50.5 million from $42.7 million one year ago.

Overall, LPL’s revenue increased 21% year-over-year to $2.46 billion, and net-income rose 78% to $161 million.

LPL’s assets under management rose 16% year-over-year to $1.24 trillion. Advisory assets increased 18% year-over-year to $662 billion, putting them at 53.3% of the total assets, up from 52.5% a year ago, the company said.

LPL said it added $22 billion in net new assets in the second quarter, which represented a 7.4% annualized growth rate.

( This news/press release has not been altered by, apart from the headline, and has been obtained from a syndicated source:-