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LPL's Aggressive Push Wins Multi-Billion Advisor Group from Bitter Rival

October 24, 2018

In the ongoing battle for each other’s financial advisors, LPL Financial has scored a big win against Cetera Financial Group, according to InvestmentNews.

The latest addition is Crystal Lake, Ill.-based Exemplar Financial Network, which manages $3.7 billion, the publication writes.

Exemplar had been with Cetera for 28 years before moving its broker-dealer affiliation to Cetera’s arch rival, according to InvestmentNews, which cites BrokerCheck. None of the firms responded to the publication’s requests for comment.

LPL and Cetera have been aggressively pursuing each other’s advisors for months. In April, LPL offered a sweetened deal, in the form of 50 basis points on assets, specifically to advisors at Cetera, Securities America and Kestra Financial. And in August, Cetera began offering equity participation to its advisors. A little over a week ago, LPL snatched a Kentucky wealth management practice overseeing $700 million from Cetera.

But earlier this month Cetera announced it had poached two LPL-affiliated advice practices — one of which was actually returning to Cetera after four years with LPL.

Louis Diamond, executive vice president at Diamond Consultants, tells InvestmentNews LPL has an advantage over Cetera in that it’s a well-known public company that advisors can be sure will stick around.

"Cetera, meanwhile, has had multiple owners, and they’ve got private equity owners," he tells the publication. "That’s not to suggest that Cetera is unstable, but new ownership is a time for advisers to reevaluate whether they’re at the right place."

The battle between LPL and Cetera also has to do with LPL’s decision not to promote its then-president Robert Moore to CEO, InvestmentNews writes. After leaving LPL, Moore became CEO of Cetera, according to the publication.

“There’s a lot of ill will between those two firms," industry recruiter Danny Sarch tells InvestmentNews. "It almost seems like they are striking back at each other for sake of striking back at each other."

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