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Rumors of LPL Buying Cetera Cool Following New Hire

May 11, 2018

Cetera Financial Group has hired a former LPL Financial executive to oversee new business development — a move which could signal LPL might not be buying the broker-dealer network as rumored, one industry consultant tells ThinkAdvisor.

Michael Murray, who had been national sales manager for the West division at LPL since 2002, will be tasked with recruiting advisors and “enhancing the advisor experience,” according to a Cetera statement cited by ThinkAdvisor. Murray’s role will also include succession planning as well as “a whole range of activities designed to nest advisors into the best possible place,” Cetera CEO Robert Moore tells the publication.

The new hire could also help quash rumors LPL wants to acquire Cetera. In February, Cetera — which includes the broker-dealers Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Advisors, Cetera Financial Institutions, Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities and Summit Financial Services Group — said it hired Goldman Sachs to assist with its capital structure review. Around the same time, reports surfaced that Cetera began interviewing advisors for a sale. LPL was one of the leading contenders at the time.

“You can’t exclude the possibility that Cetera will be sold, but Mike Murray’s decision to join Cetera shows that he obviously doesn’t believe LPL is seriously in the running to acquire the company,” Jeff Nash, a former in-house recruiter at LPL who’s now CEO of BridgeMark Strategies, tells ThinkAdvisor.

Asked about Cetera’s review of its capital structure, Moore tells the publication “the process is moving along smoothly.”

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the ThinkAdvisor article cited in this story, click here.