LPL Financial is acquiring one of its own branch offices that manages about $40 billion in advisory and brokerage assets, the firm announced. The deal marks the first time LPL has purchased one of its own branches.
Financial Resources Group Investment Services (FRGIS) is an LPL branch office based in Fort Mill, S.C., working with about 800 advisors and 85 banks and credit unions throughout the country. The firm will keep its brand and leadership team after the acquisition, which is expected to close early next year.
FRGIS Partner and CEO Bruce Miller said the company was pleased to build on the “deepened relationship” between LPL and his firm.
“We look forward to leveraging LPL’s financial strength and resources to enhance our support of existing client relationships and to attract new ones, enabling our continued strong growth trajectory,” he said.
The deal is structured as an equity purchase; $140 million will be paid at closing, with additional earn-out payments over the three years after the close.
FRGIS’ client assets are already on LPL’s custodial platform, making the transition easier. Rich Steinmeier, a managing director and divisional president of business development at LPL, said the deal “provides a foundation” to speed expansion on growth in the financial institution space.
“FRGIS is an industry leader of managed programs for banks and credit unions and provides a strategic complement to LPL’s existing enterprise offering,” he said.
The deal was a unique transaction, according to LPL. Current arrangements with FRGIS and its advisors would remain unchanged, though LPL would be interested in further branch office purchases provided it fit the strategic aims of the firm.
The move follows an effort to support firm growth in the bank and credit union space, including the recent hiring of Pete Dorsey, who came over from RIA-focused custodial and tech platform Altruist, as executive vice president of institution services, which oversees LPL’s bank, credit union and enterprise clients.
The firm recently reported net new assets totaling $20 billion in its third quarter, representing a 7.5% annualized growth rate and a dip from $47 billion in the second quarter, with total assets down 8% year over year and 2% sequentially to $1.1 trillion. In its earnings report, LPL said its recruited assets totaled $13 billion in the third quarter, bringing its 12-month total to $84 billion, including $32 billion in the second quarter from the onboarded assets of CUNA Mutual Group. Total advisor head count stood at 21,044, a 1,417 year-over-year increase.
In early October, the firm announced that the $1 billion team Resonate Wealth Partners would join LPL’s Strategic Wealth Services after previously affiliating with Merrill Lynch. This week, the firm also announced that the Nebraska-based father/daughter team Barney Financial Services would join LPL, aligning with JFC Advisor Network. The firm, which managed about $200 million in client assets, joined from Securities America.
Additionally, Legacy Financial Advisors, a $120 million team based out of Colorado, also joined LPL from Securities America while rebranding themselves from the Clements Group. Both Legacy and Barney Financial had previously been with JFC Advisor Network before JFC joined LPL in 2020, but the two teams had decided to stay back.