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Why Beacon Wealth joined an LPL OSJ

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In search of a less product sales-focused environment, Beacon Wealth Management is leaving independent broker-dealer 1st Global to affiliate with an LPL Financial office of supervisory jurisdiction, Wealthcare Advisory Partners.

An unusual OSJ, Wealthcare is also a fintech company with a white label goals-based planning software product that is a part of its selling point to RIAs.

"It's very tough to be in sales mode at this stage," Brent Shepherd, one of two advisors in the Houston-based Beacon that manages $150 million in client assets, in explaining the move.

In choosing Wealthcare "we were looking for a greater sense of full financial planning, an emphasis on the plan instead of products," Shepherd added. "We are very excited about the opportunity to do more planning for our clients."

Beacon spent 11 years affiliated with 1st Global, which largely serves advisors with CPAs, according to Shepherd. Ken Day, who holds a CPA, is the second advisor at Beacon.

Wealthcare's software, frequently sold under the Envision brand name and known internally as GDX360, is used by large firms, ranging from Wells Fargo to United Capital and HDVest, the OSJ's President, Matt Regan, says.

The software has been particularly attractive to advisors from Wells Fargo, who want to stay with the technology they have been using even after leaving the wirehouse environment, he says. He did not say how many Wells advisors Wealthcare has recruited.

Nationwide, about 100 advisors affiliate with Wealthcare, which has offices in Richmond, Virginia, and West Chester, Pennsylvania, according to Regan.

The OSJ manages about $2 billion in client assets through its RIA and has another $600 million in brokerage assets, Regan says.

It's looking to add another $1 billion to its RIA, and as many as another 50 advisors, in the near future, he says.

"We get advisors from all sorts of places," Regan says, adding that some are "RIAs that want to use us as a pure outsourced solution but maintain their own [SEC] registrations. We have advisors who want to directly affiliate with us. When we engage with an advisor, we are offering a wealth management outsourced solution."

Bill Morrissey, LPL's former head of business development, recently joined the board of Financeware, Wealthcare's parent company.

Financeware also owns two other ventures, the market data firm QUODD Financial Information Services and VMS, a mutual fund training and data systems company.

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