Dissatisfied with their broker-dealer of 17 years, five planners in two connected firms have jumped ship to Raymond James from IBD powerhouse LPL Financial.

"Their situation had changed," says Dan Foran, founder of Green Brook, N.J.-based Foran Financial. "We felt [LPL's] service to us was not what it had been." He declined to elaborate further.

"While we are disappointed to see a client leave LPL, we wish Dan all the best with his practice," LPL vice president, Brett Weinberg wrote in an email. "We strive to create a culture of support and appreciation for our clients. We are proud of our 97% production retention rate as well as our industry-leading net new advisor growth."

In conjunction with "satellite office" Sweatt & Walters, Insurance & Investment Advisors -- located just one floor up in the same building -- Foran Financial manages a total of $200 million in client assets.

Foran made the move with his two children, John Foran and Jessica Foran, and with Sweatt & Walters cofounders Brian Sweatt and Mark Walters. The younger Forans intend to take over Foran Financial upon their father's retirement, and may also absorb the Sweatt & Walters business after its founders step down, the elder Foran says.

"My kids are the future here," he says.

COACHING COLLEAGUES

Foran said he decided to make the switch after attending several gatherings with other members of Peak Advisor Alliance -- the coaching program run by well-known advisor Ron Carson -- and meeting several Raymond James advisors there.

"After going to [the Peak] meetings, Raymond James culture seemed to resonate quite a bit," as did its technology offerings, Foran says.

The younger Forans will also benefit from Raymond James' various ongoing educational and other programs, he says.

"I know we are going to utilize their research team a lot more," Dan Foran says, also highlighting the IBD's retirement planning program. "We've already been using that and we've gotten some very, very positive feedback from existing clients and people we are just starting to work with."

The two firms work closely together, Foran says. Sweatt & Walters advises approximately 120 business clients on employee benefits and health insurance programs, he explains, and some of the executives of those businesses are high-net-worth clients of Foran Financial.

In turn, Foran Financial sends business-owner clients to Sweatt & Walters for their companies' employee benefits needs.

Foran founded his firm in 1985 and the two affiliated practices joined forces in 1997, the same year they began working with LPL.

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