The Daily Brief
LPL Financial

LPL Financial Has $1 Billion in M&A Capital to Deploy in 2019

A combination of cash, earnings from sellers and leverage has primed the independent firm for deals in this year.

After the choppy acquisition of National Planning Holdings in 2017 and complaints from advisors about its technology last year, LPL Financial is rebounding and seemingly has cash to burn.

The company currently has more than $1 billion in capital it can deploy for mergers and acquisitions, LPL CFO Matt Audette said during a presentation Tuesday at the Credit Suisse Financial Services Forum. 

A surplus of cash above its $200 million balance sheet target, earnings from any acquired companies and the flexibility to temporarily go above its target leverage range give the independent broker/dealer considerable purchasing power in 2019. 

“We feel really well positioned for M&A should it come up,” Audette said.

In December, LPL acquired technology firm AdvisoryWorld for $28 million in cash. But Audette and other executives have made it clear the firm intends to continue to invest in the company with the goal of helping advisors across its business channels. 

Mostly recently, the firm is using more technology to streamline its recruiting and transition process and has launched a new planning tool for advisors.

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