Commonwealth Financial Network has grabbed an Invest Financial team despite the “very strong appeal” of a pitch by LPL Financial after LPL acquired Invest’s assets, a founding member of the practice says.

Jodi Manthei, Ken Koppitz and Nancy Hayes of Riverstone Wealth Partners also closely considered Cambridge Investment Research before opting for Commonwealth, Manthei said last week. The Chicago-area practice includes five advisors with $263 million in assets under management.

Commonwealth fee revenue

Commonwealth, the No. 4 independent broker-dealer by revenue, has added 29 advisors with $15.6 million in revenue from Invest parent National Planning Holdings since the LPL deal. The August acquisition of NPH’s assets has led to roughly 3,200 advisors changing firms, either to LPL or its rivals.

Manthei praised both LPL CEO Dan Arnold and Cambridge CEO Amy Webber for offering up their firms’ visions in personal phone calls. She also discussed the move at length with other advisors, she says, and one gave Commonwealth a strong recommendation after several years with the firm.

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The decision came down to “the focus and the culture of Commonwealth,” Manthei says.

Jodi Manthei, Commonwealth Financial
Jodi Manthei had spent 29 years with Invest Financial before the move.

“With every communication, there was just a reinforcement of our shared values. That became the deciding factor,” Manthei says. “Their passion to provide excellent solutions is really how we take care of our clients.”

A spokeswoman for LPL declined to comment on the firm’s move. The firm expects to retain about 70% of the four NPH firms’ business and about 2,000 of their advisors, Arnold has said.

Riverstone officially aligned with Commonwealth on Jan. 5, according to FINRA BrokerCheck. Manthei had spent 29 years with Invest after starting her career with Merrill Lynch in 1983. Hayes also started at Merrill Lynch a year earlier.

In addition to the three founding partners, the practice includes two other advisors and three support staff. Riverstone had previously used Fidelity’s National Financial Services as its custodian, and the practice remains with NFS following the move, Manthei says.

Commonwealth added more production through recruiting in 2017 than any year since the firm’s founding in 1979, according to the company. The Waltham, Massachusetts-based firm has 1,778 advisors with about $156 billion in account assets.

“Although I’m reluctant to make predictions on the year’s activity, there is considerable unrest in the BD environment and our engagement with prospective advisors remains high,” Andrew Daniels, Commonwealth’s managing principal for business development, said in an email.

Tobias Salinger

Tobias Salinger

Tobias Salinger is an associate editor for Financial Planning, On Wall Street & Bank Investment Consultant.