National Planning loses super OSJ as NPH exits top $4B

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Another National Planning firm has bolted for Woodbury Financial Services, pushing the number of advisors spurning LPL Financial for other firms close to 100 after its massive acquisition.

Frank Brown’s Paragon Financial Group, a super office of supervisory jurisdiction with 22 advisors and $347 million in client assets, joined the Advisor Group firm in the wake of LPL’s acquisition, Woodbury says. The Phoenix-area practice’s new independent broker-dealer announced the move last month.

LPL acquired the assets of National Planning Holdings on Aug. 15 with plans to move its 3,200 advisors at four BDs to its platform by early next year. However, at least 94 advisors with $4.4 billion in client assets have already left the fold, according to a barrage of recruiting announcements by LPL’s rivals.

Woodbury alone has lured 81 advisors with $2.8 billion in client assets in three grabs from National Planning and fellow NPH firm SII Investments. The latest group of new recruits chose the firm in part because of its regional vice president structure.

“Frank was also able to balance his supervisory and compliance responsibilities with helping advisors develop their businesses,” Nate Anderson, a regional vice president for Woodbury, said in an email. “Our model allows him to allocate more time focused on adding new advisors to his organization and helping his existing advisors grow their businesses.”

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Independent and regional firms have been maintaining strong appeal with new recruits.

Brown, who operates Paragon out of an office in Glendale, Arizona, formally aligned with Woodbury on October 13, according to FINRA BrokerCheck. A spokesman for LPL and a spokeswoman for National Planning both declined to comment on the move.

Brown launched the practice in 1999, though he started his financial services career with Transamerica back in 1986. Paragon had been with SagePoint Financial, another Advisor Group BD, for three years before joining National Planning in 2009.

Brown chose Woodbury “due to the rich culture, the genuine dedication to the advisor and their success and the support with industry-regulated compliance supervision provided by Woodbury’s regional vice president structure,” he said in a statement.

As the 25th largest IBD with about 1,000 advisors, Woodbury is the smallest out of Advisor Group’s network of four IBDs. This year, however, the suburban St. Paul, Minnesota-based firm has recruited 140 new advisors out of the network’s 440 new advisors, according to Woodbury.

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