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Chris Francis (left) and Burke Francis

LPL Lures $1.2B Morgan Stanley Veterans

Recruited away from Morgan Stanley, Los Angeles-based The Francis Group is the latest team to join LPL’s SWS division, the IBD’s premium affiliation model that went live in April 2020.

A father-son team, who spent their entire careers at Morgan Stanley or its predecessors, have jumped ship to launch an independent practice, The Francis Group, with LPL Financial. The team, which manages $1.2 billion in advisory, brokerage and retirement plan assets, has joined via LPL Strategic Wealth Services, the firm’s premium affiliation model launched in 2020.

The Los Angeles-based practice was established in 1966 by Burke Francis, who built the book of business by offering asset management to high-net-worth individuals. His son, Chris, joined in 1998.

The duo decided to make the leap after hearing feedback from clients demanding more “white-glove, family-focused office service experiences,” LPL said. They were also attracted to LPL’s resources for wealthy clients, including its HNW Services team, The Private Trust Company and specialized product capabilities. The team also sought more freedom.

“We used to tell our clients ‘bigger is better,’ but we realize that is not the case anymore, and with searing vision comes beneficial results,” Burke Francis said in a statement. “We are built to be free and in our case, free to build a business on our own terms within a culture that aligns with our value, free from the burden of corporate influence. We strive for transparency, and our independence sets us apart allowing us to adhere to the highest ethical standards without conflict. That is who we are.”

LPL launched Strategic Wealth Services in 2020 to help lift teams out of the wirehouses and regional firms. The business model gives these advisors a client service model meant to replicate the kind of business support many got at a full-service firm. That includes transition advice, assistance onboarding clients, securing real estate, installing technology and setting up compliance and marketing programs.

In LPL’s second quarter 2023 earnings report, the IBD said it recruited $19 billion in new assets, about $4 billion of which were from its newer affiliation models, including SWS, its employee division and its enhanced RIA unit.

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