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Thrivent Advisor Network Joins the Broker Protocol

Thrivent Advisor Network is now a member of the protocol, which allows departing advisors to take certain customer information and solicit customers regardless of whether they had agreements that expressly prohibited such conduct.

Thrivent Advisor Network, Thrivent Financial’s hybrid independent advisor platform, has joined the Protocol for Broker Recruiting, according to Capital Forensics, which maintains the protocol.

“The Thrivent Advisor Network is a hybrid registered investment advisor (RIA) that serves independent financial advisors who believe in providing purpose-based advice to clients,” Thrivent said in a statement on the move. “The platform is focused on growth and joining the Broker Protocol was a natural next step for the Thrivent Advisor Network.”

Brian Hamburger, founder, president and CEO of MarketCounsel, said he wasn’t surprised by the move; the Broker Protocol has become “de facto standard” in the independent advice space.

“Firms are participating in the protocol because the protocol reflects a client-first, equitable standard,” Hamburger said. “I applaud their move to help support the free flow of advisors, and ensuring that clients are not put in the midst of any type of employment-related dispute.”

In its Joinder Agreement, TAN said it had one reservation. The firm may pay to acquire client accounts from an independent advisor and then receive payments from an affiliated independent advisor for the ability to service those accounts. The firm said it believes this arrangement is consistent with the protocol’s terms.

Thrivent, the Midwest-based not-for-profit financial services organization founded by Lutherans, launched its RIA platform in late 2019, bringing over 130 of its own advisors from Thrivent’s legacy insurance broker/dealer. Last summer, TAN began recruiting outside advisors, the first being 49 Financial, an Austin, Texas-headquartered team that managed over $250 million in client assets prior to joining TAN.

The division recently added two business development executives to attract advisors, including Matthew Sines, who came over from Raymond James, and Gary Foster, a former vice president of business development at LPL Financial.

Luke Winskowski, the head of Thrivent Advisor Network and one of’s Ten to Watch in 2021, was recently promoted to senior vice president of Advice and Wealth Management across all of Thrivent.  

The Protocol for Broker Recruiting was established in 2004 by three major wealth management firms: Smith Barney, Merrill Lynch, and UBS. The “principal goal” of the Broker Protocol was to allow departing advisors to take certain customer information and solicit customers regardless of whether they had agreements that expressly prohibited such conduct. Now, some 16 years after its launch, the protocol has more than 1,900 members across the United States.

However, in late 2017, two of its founding members—Smith Barney (now Morgan Stanley Wealth Management) and UBS—as well as Citibank, withdrew from the Broker Protocol. Many advisors wonder whether Merrill Lynch will also exit.

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