LPL Financial, the largest independent broker/dealer in the industry, announced steps it is taking in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has wreaked havoc on the markets and disrupted advisors’ businesses. As many businesses close their doors, schools shutter, and others begin working remotely, many advisors are responding in similar fashion, adjusting their routines, dusting off their business continuity plans and meeting with clients virtually. To accommodate their changing schedules, LPL has extended its service hours to include Saturday hours and extended weekday hours.
Starting Saturday, March 21, the firm’s service staff will be available to advisors between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Eastern time. And starting Monday, March 23, the service desk’s weekday hours will be extended from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. for the foreseeable future.
LPL’s senior leaders have formed a COVID-19 Emergency Response Team that meets daily to discuss the firm’s contingency and continuity planning as the situation evolves. The firm is also in touch with its vendors on their contingency plans.
About 70% of LPL’s corporate employees are now working from home, and the firm has started to test procedures for transferring work from one office to another, in case there are local disruptions. The firm is also restricting visitors to its office locations and has discontinued all business travel. Employees returning from personal travel will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days in certain circumstances.
The firm has also canceled its upcoming Masters advisor conference, while its Summit and Accelerate events have been rescheduled.