BOSTON - LPL’s pitch to advisors targeting the high-net-worth market appears to be working: Assets from clients with more than $5 million to invest have increased 44% in three years.

“We’re democratizing high-net-worth,” Gary Carrai, senior vice president of HNW solutions at LPL, said in an interview at the firm's Focus conference. “We’re showing advisors that they can leverage our team and get more at-bat with HNW prospects.”

Carrai concedes that LPL “historically hasn’t been thought of as a high-net-worth destination.” But today, he argues, that perception “is more image than reality.”

LPL’s pursuit of the HNW market began in earnest five years ago, when the company acquired Fortigent, a reporting, due diligence and investment manager selection vendor with a glittering client roster of independent advisors.

Fortigent is now fully integrated with LPL, and Carrai, who also serves as president of Fortigent, oversees the IBD’s high-net-worth initiative.

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BIG JUMP IN HNW ASSETS
High-net-worth assets at LPL have jumped from $27.5 billion in 2015 to over $38 billion so far this year.

A critical element in that achieving that gain has been LPL’s 78-member Advanced Planning Exchange team, or APEX. “It’s a way for advisors with HNW clients to leverage LPL’s expertise,” Carrai said. “They’re sub-specialists with a deep planning background who are on call to support advisors when clients need guidance in areas like estate planning, philanthropy and single-stock concentration.”

LPL has also been building up its two-year-old Private Client brand, Carrai adds. “We want the advisor to take the lead in the relationship with the HNW client but also know that LPL is part of the team and that they have a solid brand behind them,” Carrai says.

Carrai sees plenty of room for LPL to increase its share of the HNW market.

“Independents are winning more of this market because it’s becoming more Main Street and less Wall Street as solutions become more accessible,” he says. “It’s also a very complex and fragmented market, and we can provide the consolidated and aggregated performance reporting, technology and investment selection that high-net-worth clients need.”

Charles Paikert

Charles Paikert

Charles Paikert is a senior editor at Financial Planning. Follow him on Twitter at @paikert.