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Royal Alliance adds $1.1B National Planning OSJ in fiduciary-focused move

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A National Planning firm with $1.1 billion in client assets under administration bolted for Royal Alliance Associates, pushing total exits from National Planning Holdings close to $9 billion following LPL Financial’s acquisition of its assets.

Advisor Chris Lubbers’ Strategic Partners, an office of supervisory jurisdiction with 38 advisors, joined the 12th largest independent broker-dealer, Royal Alliance announced this week. The Parsons, Kansas-based practice followed at least three others from NPH moving to one of Advisor Group’s four BDs after the transaction.

LPL, the nation’s largest IBD, purchased NPH’s assets in August. Since then, rivals have poached at least 199 advisors with $8.9 billion in client assets from NPH’s four IBDs, according to recruiting notices from the competitors.

Lubbers’ firm formally made its move Oct. 16, but he had settled on Royal Alliance at around the time LPL made its giant buy. The Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule had prompted the 22-year financial services veteran to embark on a six-month search that led to Royal Alliance, Lubbers says.

“It’s literally changed our industry. I think there’s no doubt about that. So my concern was finding a BD that would help us navigate that landscape,” Lubbers says. “They weren’t really scared of the DoL. They were trying to help us navigate it and help us help our clients.”

The wirehouses have lost teams overseeing more than $12 billion in client assets over the past month, according to recent hiring announcements.
November 3

A spokeswoman for National Planning Holdings declined to comment on their exit, as did a spokesman for LPL. About 70% of production from National Planning and Investment Centers of America will move to LPL in the first half of the transition after the deal, LPL said this week.

Lubbers opened his firm in 1994, and he says its assets under management have more than doubled in the past five years. The practice first aligned with Franklin Financial Services for seven years, followed by five years with American General Securities and 10 years with National Planning, according to FINRA BrokerCheck.

The firm’s headquarters in Parsons, which is in southeastern Kansas near the state’s borders with Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma, serves as a central location for its affiliated advisors in those states. The firm also has advisors in Connecticut, Indiana, South Dakota and Texas.

“Royal’s commitment to the OSJ model has proven highly attractive to many large practices,” CEO Dmitry Goldin said in an emailed statement. “The elevated level of service we provide OSJs is ingrained in our culture of personal support.”

Royal Alliance, the largest of Advisor Group’s BDs, has recruited 152 new registered representatives this year as part of the network’s total haul of 487, according to the firm. In September, the BD announced it had added practices from National Planning and Signator Investors. Woodbury Financial Services — another Advisor Group BD — has also recently lured other firms from NPH.

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