LPL Lures Arizona ‘Enterprise’ Team from Securities America
LPL Financial said Monday that it continues to benefit from consolidation of the independent brokerage business by attracting an “enterprise” team of about 30 advisors managing some $1 billion of client assets from rival independent broker-dealer Securities America.
It includes Bull’s own team of five advisors in Arizona and San Diego as well as about 25 others in California, Colorado, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, Utah and Washington State who buy services ranging from portfolio models and sales coaching to compliance from his firm.
Such enterprise teams of entrepreneurial brokers are a growing target for broker-dealers that historically worked with relatively small teams of independent contractors, many of whom also operate affiliated insurance and accounting businesses.
“LPL offered more flexibility for growth,” Bull said, “and better pricing.”
Specifically, LPL is permitting him to offer services through his own RIA or its corporate RIA to fee-only advisors, the fastest growing sector of the wealth management industry. “It’s an opportunity to reach more advisors,” he said.
A spokesman for Securities America, part of the Advisor Group family of independent broker-dealers, said he could not immediately comment or say whether any of Verus’s partner firms remain with Securities America.
Another LPL enterprise team, the 40-advisor New Jersey-based Independent Network of Consultants & Advisors (INC Advisors), last month captured a $1.65 million team of producers from Wells Fargo Advisors.
Royal Alliance, another broker-dealer affiliate of Advisor Group, attracted its own ensemble firm last month. Pacific Capital Resource Group, a 40-advisor Washington State-based firm overseeing about $980 million, changed its affiliation after more than 20 years with Hornor, Townsend & Kent, the independent broker-dealer of Penn Mutual Life Insurance.
Bull’s partner, Zach T. Mason, who joined the financial planning and investment advisory industry in 2009 at Vanguard, focuses on Vertus’s own retail clients while Bull strategizes on expanding the enterprise umbrella. The teams work in the advisory and commission brokerage models, though the RIA dominates. Verus’s most recent regulatory filing in June says the RIA oversees $640.5 million in more than 3,300 accounts. It lists 40 investment advisors, some of whom have forgivable loans (of under $150,000) from Securities America.
Two of the largest teams that work through Verus—the father-son team of Phillips Financial Management in Phoenix and Oxenham Financial in Glenelg, MD—have more than $100 million each in brokerage and advisory assets, LPL said.
Bull began his financial services career in 1993 at AXA Advisors in Madison, WI. He moved to Phoenix in 1999 with the insurer (and its parent Equitable Life), rising through the managerial ranks to become a divisional vice president, according to a biography on his firm website.
He formed his own independent practice in 2003 when he left AXA to execute trades through NEXT Financial, another independent broker-dealer. He merged Bull Capital into his newly formed RIA, Verus, in 2009. Verus will continue to use TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab as custodian for its RIA assets, Bull said, but will offer LPL’s corporate RIA as an alternative to those who want it.