ON THE MOVE-Washington Wealth expands, joins LPL Financial

Oct 2 (Reuters) - LPL Financial LLC, the largest U.S. independent broker-dealer by revenue, said on Tuesday it landed San Diego-based independent advisory firm Washington Wealth Management LLC with $750 million in client assets.

Washington Wealth's move over to LPL comes as the firm looks to expand its adviser footprint and asset base across the country.

"Very experienced wirehouse advisers are exploring the movement to independence - those with a seasoned client base that no longer need the brand behind them," Bill Morrissey, LPL's executive vice president of business development, said in an interview.

Wirehouses are the top U.S. brokerages owned by Wall Street banks.

Washington Wealth, whose advisers are primarily veteran breakaway broker teams with $100 million or more in client assets, currently has 15 financial advisers in its group. The firm's chief executive, Rob Bartenstein, said he plans to eventually grow Washington Wealth to $1 billion in client assets under management by year end.

"Our goal for 2013 is to grow in metro areas where we currently exist," he said, in addition to expanding into three or four additional metro areas over the course of the year.

The firm has hired many of its recruits from top U.S. brokerages, including a team last month from Wells Fargo Advisors, the brokerage owned by Wells Fargo & Co . Advisers Brian Danelian, J. Allen Thompson and Christine Fountain, who managed $135 million in client assets and generated $1.4 million in annual revenue last year at Wells, joined Washington Wealth in Woodland Hills, California.

"We have onboarded or will onboard advisers from all of the major wirehouses in the next several months," Bartenstein said.

Boston-based LPL Financial, a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Financial Holdings Inc , provides brokerage, clearing and other professional services to roughly 13,100 self-employed brokers and advisers.

The firm has expanded by adding individual advisers and teams, as well as larger independent groups like Washington Wealth Management to its broker-dealer platform.

LPL last month also added Pennsylvania-based Delaware Valley Financial Group with $500 million in client assets.

(Reporting by Ashley Lau in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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