The $300 million AUM firm Marzano Capital Group has joined one of LPL Financial's large offices of supervisory jurisdiction, Independent Advisor Alliance, a network of 50 LPL-affiliated advisors.

"It allows us to continue to grow our business and outsource some of the functions that bog us down on a monthly basis," managing partner Jon Marzano says. Linking with Independent Advisor "is allowing us to continue to expand here in our market and to sit down with our clients around the kitchen table, which gets hard to do as the business is growing very rapidly."

Marzano and his father Arthur Marzano founded their Clemmons, N.C.-based hybrid firm in 2005. Today it has three advisors, two support staff and plans to open a second office in Winston-Salem.

Independent Advisor will help Marzano with compliance and back office tasks to free the firm's principals to work more closely with clients, says Robert Russo, Independent Advisor's founder.

"We provide that concierge level of service," Russo says, to all of its advisors.

The terms of the deal with Marzano Capital were not disclosed. However, Russo says, his firm customizes financial arrangements for the advisors in his network who collectively manage $1.5 billion in client assets.

FLAT DOLLAR FEE

"We offer what we call a flat dollar fee for the services provided or we offer a basis point fee for the advisors," Russo says. "We understand that advisors are very unique. We need to make sure that they are getting what they need."

Advisors in the network bounce ideas off each other and provide a smaller community within the larger LPL universe of 14,000 advisors, Russo says.

"It's a smaller group that is very manageable for us to communicate with on a regular basis," he says.

Given that his firm is located near LPL's Charlotte offices, Russo says, his firm has been able to work closely with the LPL, which is the country's largest independent broker dealer.

Over the past four years, more advisors are choosing to affiliate with LPL via one of the firm's super OSJs, says Steve Pirigyi, LPL's executive vice president of business development.

"In the bigger picture, people are attracted to LPL because of our scale and because of the features we have to look at," Pirigyi says. "But, one of the things they ask is, 'Will I feel a part of a community?' "

OSJs like Russo's – or others that comprise 200 to 300 advisors – help give advisors that smaller, more intimate universe, Pirigyi says.

"The fit with LPL and IAA made total sense," Marzano says.

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