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LPL Financial

$820M Former Merrill Advisor Joins LPL’s Strategic Wealth Services

Clayton Ortloff, an advisor out of Midland, Texas, will join the independent broker/dealer’s model for advisors looking for more autonomy while buttressed by back office support.

A Texas-based advisor with about $820 million in managed assets is joining LPL’s independent model from Merrill Lynch, according to the independent broker/dealer.

Clayton Ortloff will affiliate with LPL Strategic Wealth Services to launch Heritage Private Wealth. He joined the industry in 2006 with Merrill Lynch, spending his entire financial services career with the wirehouse before the move to LPL, according to BrokerCheck. He’s a third-generation resident of Midland, Texas, and joined Merrill out of college. 

“I wanted to own my practice and offer more services to my clients without corporate influence,” Ortloff said in a statement.

Ortloff specializes in personalized wealth management, focusing on the region’s high-net-worth multigenerational families in the oil and gas industries. Joining him in the move to LPL will be Gloria Folsom, the director of client relations, and wealth manager assistants Allison Gordon and Rachel Sawyer.

He said he was drawn to LPL due to the freedom it offered affiliates to run their practices as they saw fit, creating the feel of a family-focused office that was all the more essential because of “the conservative nature” of his clients. 

LPL unveiled Strategic Wealth Services in 2020, designed for advisors like Ortloff looking to leave their wirehouse or regional firm. LPL built SWS for advisors with $200 million or more AUM who want back office support and the autonomy to run their practice as they wish. 

SWS takes on some of the more entrepreneurial tasks of getting a new firm started. Before an advisor moves, SWS offers free transitional services, including onboarding clients onto LPL’s platform, helping secure real estate for offices, installing tech and compliance solutions and developing a firm’s brand. After the transition, LPL designates support for the firm, including a marketing strategist, tech support and service teams as needed.

Since the start of the year, LPL has attracted two sizable teams from Merrill Lynch to its SWS platform, in addition to Ortloff. Last month, a Florida-based advisory team of siblings with $580 million in assets joined SWS from Merrill; like Ortloff, Sarah, William and Dexter Grafton said they wanted more autonomy than they found in a wirehouse setting.

In February, SWS welcomed its 40th team to the model, with James Debuque and Timothy Baltz joining from Merrill. The Doylestown, Penn.-based team who managed $1 billion in assets at the wirehouse created Continuity Private Wealth by moving to LPL.

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