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Oppenheimer & Co. Advisors Go Indie With LPL's Breakaway Affiliation Model

Tower 68 is LPL's 11th team to come through its premium affiliation model for wirehouse and regional broker breakaways.

After 15 years with his previous broker/dealer, Kenneth South, a financial advisor in Newport Beach, Calif., launched his own wealth management firm, Tower 68, through LPL’s Strategic Wealth Services, that firm's premium affiliation model focused on breakaway advisors, according to an announcement.

Tower 68 is named after the lifeguard tower South worked at as a teenager in Newport Beach.

South joins LPL from Oppenheimer & Co. where he advised $500 million in assets under management. His practice, The South Group, catered to corporate executives, businesses, families and other high-net-worth individuals.

Joining South as Tower 68's chief operating officer is fellow Oppenheimer alum Steve Arcos. Arcos worked 18 years for Oppenheimer.

“My team believes that LPL’s trading platform is second to none. We can manage trades with complete objectivity,” said South, who previously participated in Oppenheimer’s portfolio management business called the Omega Group. He also credited LPL's SWS with providing "strategic coaching" in areas that were previously not core to his business.

Tower 68 is the 11th firm launched through LPL's SWS. Since it was established in April 2020, LPL has lured breakaway teams from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, UBS and Wells Fargo Advisors. One of its largest teams, Boggs & Company, managed $1.3 billion in AUM at Wells Fargo.

LPL made strategic hires for the channel’s leadership to attract high-producing teams with $200 or more in AUM who wanted more high-touch assistance when it came to transitioning to independence. The independent broker/dealer brought in Rich Steinmeier, a former UBS executive; Kimberly Sanders, the former managing director of business startup consulting at Schwab Advisor Services; and Marc Cohen, from MarketCounsel. The trio together built a platform that would offer all the bells and whistles a wirehouse team would need to make a jump into independence.

“We looked at the top four reasons that wirehouse advisors don't move to independence ... and we've hit them all head-on,” said Steinmeier in April.

SWS offers brokers inside wirehouses or regional broker/dealers bespoke assistance with real estate, branding, human resources and technology, meant to ease their transition to an independent practice.

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