LPL Financial has picked up a $1 billion retirement specialist.

VisionPoint Advisory Group, based in West Des Moines, Iowa, has transitioned its 12 advisors, with $1 billion in assets under management, to LPL from Securian -- and is looking to use the giant independent broker-dealer as a base to expand by recruiting more advisors.

“We looked at more than 20 broker-dealers in our process and, without question, LPL was by far the right firm for us,” says Jim Mars, VisionPoint’s managing partner. “The resources that they have in the corporate marketplace are second-to-none. They’ve got just fabulous resources and technology.”

VisionPoint specializes in assuming the fiduciary duty of managing employee 401(k) plans for client companies, Mars says. The firm’s advisors also manage wealth for high-net-worth individuals, including executives in many of those firms, he adds.

Executives on both sides of the deal say they hope to use VisionPoint as a destination to which LPL can lure other people. “It is such a unique model that it will be a great place for us to recruit advisors,” says Bill Morrissey, LPL’s head of business development.

Under the new relationship, Mars says VisionPoint plans to create three distinct offerings to attract advisors:

  • Advisors can join as VisionPoint employees, without the need to worry about running their own firms and with the chance to become equity partners.
  • Advisors who want to continue to run and control their own practices could choose an “independent” model. This option would let them to handle their own branding and marketing, while using VisionPoint for compliance and supervisory support.
  • Advisors can also select an “interdependent” hybrid model in which use the VisionPoint brand but maintain some firm independence.

“No single advisor’s practice is really the same,” Mars said, adding that he wanted to give his advisors a range of options to be as little or as much entrepreneurial as they desired. “LPL really gave us the ability to form those options.”
Founded in 1981, the firm has additional offices in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Dallas.

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