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Big LPL Practice Scores Advisors With $800M

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A pair of veteran planners with a combined $800 million in client assets under management has joined West Hartford, Conn.-based Northstar Wealth Partners, the biggest LPL Financial-affiliated firm, thanks to matchmaking by the independent broker-dealer.

“They wanted to plug in to a local LPL branch,” Bill Morrissey, LPL’s executive vice president of business development, said in an interview. “They also were looking for a sense of community and a strong local culture, both of which Northstar provided them.”
Independent planners Theresa Donatelli and Romaine Macomb moved to Northstar’s Old Saybrook, Conn., office in August, bringing with them advisory, brokerage and retirement plan assets, according to Northstar founding partner Robert Laraia. The firm has six offices statewide.


“Culturally, they are a great fit,” Laraia said in an interview. “We were really excited about having a team with 45 years of combined experience join us.”

Northstar’s network of 22 advisors, backed by LPL’s technology and support, acted as a strong lure, he said. In particular, Donatelli and Macomb were eager to make use of LPL’s Retirement Partners services, which provides tools and resources to retirement-focused advisors, including access to a network of like-minded peers.

“When we meet with advisors in the field, we use a very consultative approach to help them identify the right business model to help them open their own branch or join an existing branch” in order to grow their practices, Morrissey said. “We help [planners] go through this decision-making process.”


Over the years Northstar has grown both by attracting advisors on its own, but also via previous LPL introductions as well, according to Laraia.

“I like to think we are all kind of pulling on the oars at once,” Laraia said, but “we couldn’t have done it without them.”

In July Northstar nearly doubled its assets under management to just under $2 billion with the addition of two advisors managing $860 million in client assets. The firm now has almost $3 billion in assets under management.


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