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Another grab from Northwestern boosts expanding LPL enterprise to $6B

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Bleakley Financial Group added its sixth new financial advisor within the past year and its seventh recruit in a row to leave the expanding enterprise’s former broker-dealer.

Lyle Weintraub dropped Northwestern Mutual after 24 years to align with the Fairfield, New Jersey-based enterprise — the largest group in LPL Financial’s biggest hybrid RIA and office of supervisory jurisdiction, Private Advisor Group.

After Weintraub’s March 9 affiliation, Bleakley now has 42 advisors managing some $6 billion in client assets, according to the firm.

That’s double the client holdings that Bleakley’s then-group of two dozen advisors oversaw when the firm left Northwestern for LPL and Private Advisor in 2015, according to Bleakley Managing Director Vince Nauheimer. At least 14 advisors have also come aboard since the beginning of 2018 and spread its footprint to a dozen offices nationwide.

Lyle Weintraub is an advisor with Fairfield, New Jersey-based Bleakley Financial Group

Weintraub and three staff members operate the practice, comprising $170 million in client assets, from the firm’s Fairfield headquarters and office space in New York City.

He says he’ll “always be very grateful” to Northwestern, crediting former colleagues for helping jumpstart his career.

Ultimately, however, the decision to move came from his desire to “give planning advice and execution separately from where products are manufactured and sold,” Weintraub says. “That's what it came down to, is I wanted independence and a less conflicted environment.”

Representatives for Northwestern issued a statement confirming Weintraub’s departure.“Northwestern Mutual remains committed to recruiting, developing and retaining advisors interested in comprehensive planning that helps clients achieve financial security through insurance and investments,” it said.

While all of Bleakley’s most recent recruits came from its onetime BD, the firm aims to keep growing by attracting wirehouse or other employee breakaways, alongside advisors exiting other IBDs and so-called reverse breakaways from fully independent RIAs, Nauheimer says. Bleakley has six fee-only advisors and generates 96% of its revenue from advisory services.

“There's a level of familiarity with how we operate,” he says, noting that the firm uses each of the major RIA custodians through Private Advisor. “As Lyle speaks with clients, he can determine on a client-by-client basis what platform is best suited for him.”

Bleakley is currently speaking with interested advisors from Ameriprise, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Merrill and a couple of other BDs, according to Nauheimer. He describes the firm’s target group as being in the “mid-to-high tier” in size, with room to get bigger under the auspices of Bleakley’s advisor and client services.

This past summer, Bleakley recruited advisors with $150 million in combined client assets from Northwestern. The moves came months after the enterprise had attracted two other advisors with $200 million from the firm.

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