Steve Melen, a Tiburon, Calif.-based advisor with about $100 million in client assets, has left Morgan Stanley to join independent broker/dealer LPL Financial. Melen said his business approach was profoundly affected by his personal trials, including fighting back and overcoming a diagnosis of terminal stomach cancer in 2008.
“I am a mentor, giving hope to recently diagnosed patients. I want to help them get through these scary times and inspire them to overcome their disease,” Melen said. “I believe there is power in having a positive mindset. I had a daughter that I had to survive for. I had clients that I did not want to let down. I had a reason to fight for survival, and I survived.”
The news of the new partnership between Melen and LPL follows a spate of activity in the past month for the nation’s largest IBD. On April 1, LPL announced that Seacoast Financial Network was joining LPL’s broker/dealer and corporate registered investment advisor platforms. Seacoast reported it served approximately $120 million of client brokerage and advisory assets.
On April 11, LPL announced two California-based financial advisors managing more than $155 million in client assets were leaving Voya Financial for LPL, in part due to LPL's size. Earlier this year, LPL touted the recruitment of Firenze Wealth Management, with $390 million in client assets.
In addition to recruiting, LPL could expand through mergers and acquisitions; CFO Matt Audette announced in March that the company has more than $1 billion in capital available for M&A in 2019.
“We feel really well positioned for M&A should it come up,” Audette said during a presentation at the Credit Suisse Financial Services Forum.