BOSTON, July 29, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LPL Financial LLC, the nation's largest independent broker-dealer*, a custodian for registered investment advisors (RIAs), and a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:LPLA), hosted approximately 7,000 independent financial advisors, home office staff and guests at its 25th annual conference in Boston from July 26 to 29, during which time the firm announced several new programs that are designed to enhance the service experience for its clients and create greater efficiencies for them in managing their businesses.
LPL President Dan Arnold announced several developments that exemplify LPL’s commitment to becoming an increasingly smarter, simpler and more personal company for advisors to do business with. Announcements included:
- Robo advice on the horizon: LPL announced that it has begun working with a third-party to develop a robo-enabled solution that is intended to complement its advisors’ core business. The firm intends to introduce a pilot of the solution, which will be integrated with LPL’s custodial platform and supported by its centrally-managed portfolios platform, to several advisor practices in 2016.
- Fee reductions for centrally-managed advisory platforms: LPL announced that it is eliminating selected fees from its Model Wealth Portfolios (MWP) and Optimum Market Portfolios (OMP) advisory platforms, which may benefit advisors and their clients. As part of the changes, the strategist fee charged for all LPL Research models in MWP will be eliminated in early 2016. This fee elimination will enable advisors to offer a 15-20 basis point cost reduction for accounts invested in LPL Research model portfolios across the entire MWP platform. In addition, the firm announced that the IRA maintenance fee will be removed from its MWP and OMP platforms beginning in early 2016.
- Personal support for even more clients: As part of LPL’s commitment to enhancing its service to clients, LPL will begin to build out a team of business consultants to provide proactive practice management consulting and support to an additional 1,900+ advisors. The program expands the scale of these services, which are currently offered to LPL’s approximately 1,500 top-producing advisors.
- Enhanced access to vendor resources: The new Vendor Affinity Program is designed to help advisors reduce the complexity and costs of running their businesses. The program creates a centralized repository of more than 50 vendors offering more than 125 products to LPL advisors at discounted prices.
- Technology enhancements: LPL continues to further develop its ClientWorksSM platform, an enhanced and integrated technology solution for advisors. Currently in its pilot phase with more than 300 advisors actively using its completely redesigned capabilities, the cloud-based platform is designed to enable advisors to be more efficient and productive in managing and growing their businesses.
Additionally, LPL Managing Director and Chief Information Officer Victor Fetter highlighted the many technology improvements that were made over the last 18 months, many of which were identified through collaboration with advisors as improvements that could have the most impact on their business growth and efficiency. These improvements include the Digital Office, Reporting, Trading and Investor Portal solutions. In addition, LPL has launched a new email platform, improved tax processing and enhanced a number of employee systems to better support service and compliance. Fetter also emphasized the impact that technology can have on an advisor’s business, reporting that advisors who take advantage of all of the firm’s technology are growing their businesses at a substantially higher rate compared to those who do not.
“At LPL, we recognize the challenges and opportunities of being an entrepreneurial business owner, and we want to ensure that we are able to support our clients in the ways that add value,” said Arnold. “We are proud that our scope of services and resources provided to our clients is unmatched by others in our industry.”
Focus 2015 brought together LPL-affiliated advisors as well as bank and credit union program managers, along with their staff and guests. LPL product sponsor firms and LPL employees were also in attendance. The conference attendees had the opportunity to hear valuable insights from top LPL executives, attend panel discussions and breakout sessions covering a range of topics, including: technology and tools, practice management, succession planning and research, as well as to network with colleagues and engage with more than 100 sponsors in the exhibitor hall.
*Based on total revenues, Financial Planning magazine, June 1996-2015
Statements in this press release regarding the Company's future plans, strategies, initiatives and programs, including associated future enhancements to its clients’ service experience, business management and business performance, and future benefits to advisors and their clients resulting from MWP and OMP fee reductions, as well as any other statements that are not related to present facts or current conditions or that are not purely historical, constitute forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on the Company's historical performance and its plans, estimates, and expectations as of July 29, 2015. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees that the future results, plans, intentions or expectations expressed or implied by the Company will be achieved. Matters subject to forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including economic, legislative, regulatory, competitive, and other factors, which may cause actual financial or operating results, levels of activity, or the timing of events, to be materially different than those expressed or implied by forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include: changes in general economic and financial market conditions, including retail investor sentiment; effects of competition in the financial services industry; execution of the Company's plans and its success in realizing the service improvements and efficiencies expected to result from its initiatives and programs, particularly its technology initiatives; the Company’s success in negotiating agreements with third parties, including in connection with its planned robo-enabled solution; the performance of third-party service providers on which the Company relies; changes in the number of the Company's financial advisors and institutions, and their ability to market effectively financial products and services; individual decisions by advisors to offer discounted MWP fees to their clients; the effect of current, pending and future legislation, regulation and regulatory actions, including disciplinary actions imposed by securities regulators or self-regulatory organizations; the Company's ability to control operating risks, information technology systems risks, and sourcing risks; the Company's ability to recruit new advisors and attract new business to its platform; and the other factors set forth in Part I, "Item 1A. Risk Factors" in the Company's 2014 Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent SEC filings. Except as required by law, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this earnings release, even if its estimates change, and you should not rely on those statements as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.
About LPL Financial
LPL Financial, a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:LPLA), is a leader in the financial advice market and serves $485 billion in retail assets. The Company provides proprietary technology, comprehensive clearing and compliance services, practice management programs and training, and independent research to more than 14,000 independent financial advisors and more than 700 banks and credit unions. LPL Financial is the nation's largest independent broker-dealer since 1996 (based on total revenues, Financial Planning magazine, June 1996-2015), is one of the fastest growing RIA custodians with $105 billion in retail assets served, and acts as an independent consultant to over an estimated 40,000 retirement plans with an estimated $120 billion in retirement plan assets served, as of March 31, 2015. In addition, LPL Financial supports approximately 4,300 financial advisors licensed with insurance companies by providing customized clearing, advisory platforms, and technology solutions. LPL Financial and its affiliates have 3,352 employees with primary offices in Boston, Charlotte, and San Diego. For more information, please visit www.lpl.com.
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Media Contacts: Brett Weinberg Mobile: 980-329-0678 Brett.Weinberg@lpl.com Peter Gilchrist Mobile: 704-604-0983 Peter.Gilchrist@lpl.com Lauren Hoyt-Williams Mobile: 704-763-1688 Lauren.Hoyt-Williams@lpl.com