A long-time LPL Financial team is switching its allegiance to Commonwealth Financial Network.

CBD Wealth Management of Metairie, La., had been affiliated with LPL, the industry’s largest IBD for 11 years, but decided that the smaller Commonwealth was a better fit for its personal relations-oriented style.

“LPL had less than 3,000 advisors when we started with them in 2004 and it has over 15,000 advisors now,” says CBD partner Robert Comeaux, Jr. “It’s a different place than when we started there 11 years ago.”

CBD, which has approximately $350 million in client assets, considered about a half dozen other IBDs during a nine month search process, according to Comeaux. “We wanted the same type of personal relationship with our back office that we have with our clients,” Comeaux says, “and after visiting a number of firms, we felt the most comfortable with Commonwealth.”

TARGETING PROFESSIONALS AND RETIREES

Comeaux and his partners Raymond Daigle, Jr. and Walter Bond have been friends since high school and attended law school together. The firm targets lawyers, doctors and accountants and other professionals as well as affluent retirees in the New Orleans and Gulf Coast markets. CBD’s average new client has over $1 million in assets, Comeaux says.

CBD, which has five client-facing professionals including the three partners, hopes to attract more advisors to the firm based on its reputation for “personal attention,” Comeaux says. CBD is also considering expanding eastward along the Gulf Coast, and is talking with local advisors, he adds.

In addition to financial planning, the firm specializes in retirement plans for businesses.

The possibility of losing business to robo advisors is not a concern, Comeaux says.

“We’re not worrying about Schwab taking $75,000 clients,” he explains. “It’s hard to be a robo with the type of clients we work with who have over $1 million in assets with complex issues and planning needs. Personal relationships are highly valued down her and are not going to be replaced by a call center or a robo offering anytime in the near future.”

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