Private Advisor Group, a $28.5 billion registered investment advisor and super office of supervisory jurisdiction of LPL Financial, has recruited a four-person advisory team managing over $120 million in client assets. CEO and Wealth Manager Ryan Poterack shuttered his RIA, Poterack Capital Advisory in Charlotte, NC, and joined PAG under its IAR-only option custodying with Schwab.
Although this affiliation option has been more of an accommodation, PAG CEO Frank Smith said a growing number of advisors are closing their own RIAs and joining PAG as fee-only advisors. The RIA now has 76 advisors under this model. Now that it has gained some scale, Smith said the firm is looking to standardize the experience for these advisors; in other words, it will get more proactive in its recommendation around tech stacks and other services.
Some 90% of the assets under PAG’s RIA are custodied at LPL, but the firm does have recruiting relationships with Fidelity and Schwab. The Poterack team is one example of that—it currently custodies with Schwab but wants to expand that.
Poterack has also enrolled in PAG’s Alignment & Equity Program, launched in 2022 with the help of PAG’s minority owner Merchant Investment Management. Under the opt-in program, an advisor agrees to contribute a portion of their revenue, typically between 10% and 20%, in exchange for upfront cash and equity in PAG.
Smith said the program has had a good adoption rate, with 90 of the RIA’s top advisors participating. He contrasts that to some of their peers’ programs, which require more upfront and a drag-along provision on the backend.
Under PAG’s program, as the advisor’s practice grows, they continue to contribute that percentage of their revenue through time, and at a subsequent date, when there’s a monetization event or strategic transaction, they’re allowed to contribute up to 50% of their revenue. They would be compensated for that at the multiple derived at the time of that transaction.
“We believe we’re biased, but we believe ours is the most advisor-friendly one because the future opportunity for them to roll more revenue into this future monetization is purely their decision,” Smith said.
PAG also announced this week that it recently relocated its Morristown, NJ headquarters to a larger space and opened a new office in Rock Hill, SC, where Smith is based. The firm has more than doubled its staff since 2021 in primarily advisor-facing functions.