LPL Brokers in Wisconsin Leave for Competitors
Commonwealth Financial Network and Ameriprise Financial added veteran Wisconsin brokers to their ranks at the expense of LPL Financial.
Kenneth Schmocker, who manages about $370 million for more than 1,600 clients, shifted his broker-dealer affiliation to obtain what he believes will be better service.
“I spent way more time than I should have waiting for people to answer questions,” said Schmocker, a broker in La Crosse who began his career 33 years ago and who moved with Andy Tengblad, a 12-year brokerage vet, and an operations managers. He cited as one example an inability to get information on donor-advised funds.
Schmocker said he and Tengblad produced around $2 million in annual revenue split about evenly between advisory fees and commissions. Commonwealth’s relatively small size should help Schmocker get more personal attention for his large number of small accounts, he said.
They were part of a 63-broker “office of supervisory jurisdiction” firm called Advantage Financial Group that had affiliated with LPL in 2012 when its brokers were overseeing around $2 billion of assets. Several other brokers brokers have left AFG in recent years, partly out of frustration over service, Schmocker contended.
Joseph Russo, chief executive of Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based Advantage, who was a former chairman of the independent broker-dealer trade group Financial Services Institute, did not return a call for comment.
Commonwealth, which is based in Waltham, Mass., supports almost 2,000 independent brokers overseeing $161 billion in client assets. LPL serves 16,109 advisors with $628 billion.
Schmocker, who changed his affiliation three weeks ago, said Raymond James Financial Services and some small, local broker-dealers were runners-up in his search for a new firm.
Separately, Ameriprise Financial on Monday said that Jamie Grupe, an independent broker in Hudson, Wisconsin, who was managing $173 million in client assets at LPL, joined its “franchise” channel for independents in early February.
Grupe, who began his brokerage career at H.D. Vest 20 years ago, is combining his practice with Ameriprise advisor, Stephen Kinney, who has spent his entire 39-year brokerage career with Ameriprise and predecessor firm IDS Financial.
Kinney was searching for a partner as part of his transition plan to retirement, Ameriprise said.
Grupe was part of a multi-city LPL affiliate called MidAmerica Wealth Management. Two advisors remain with St. Paul, Minnesota-based MidAmerica, according to the firm’s website.
A spokeswoman for LPL did not return a request for comment on the Wisconsin brokers’ moves or on Schmocker’s remarks about service quality.
Ameriprise and LPL have revved up their recruiting incentives recently, with the latter reportedly offering top advisers forgivable loans equal to 50 basis points of assets they move from their former firm within a specified time. In February, it hired a duo, Michael Bonevento and Craig Laday, who had been managing $800 million in client assets with Ameriprise in New Jersey.
Ameriprise has been offering as much as 320% of trailing-12 revenue to brokers in its employee channel, and also has sweetened transition financing for its independent contractors.
More than 75% of Ameriprise’s 9,931 brokers are in its independent, or “franchise” channel.