11 advisors pick Securities America over preferred affiliation deal

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It was “heartbreaking” for John Lanzetta to leave his longtime independent broker-dealer after an acquisition deal — but he says he chose another he sees as less likely to change hands in the future.

Lanzetta of Quakertown, Pennsylvania-based LifeSpan Financial Associates and the 10 other advisors of his office of supervisory jurisdiction picked Securities America over Woodbury Financial Services after Questar Capital and Woodbury’s parent firms agreed to a preferred affiliation deal in October.

Advisor Group’s Woodbury IBD added more than 400 advisors out of roughly 600 from its agreement with Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America. Almost all of the advisors from Lanzetta’s OSJ instead opted for the Ladenburg Thalmann IBD, he says.

Lanzetta had spent 15 years with Questar and USAllianz Securities, he noted in an email, praising it as a “top-notch partner filled with consummate professionals.” While he declined to go into specifics, he says his OSJ’s advisors just didn’t view Woodbury as a long-term fit.

Securities America and its parent’s offerings — like investment banking, trust services, marketing and its advisor platform — will allow LifeSpan and the OSJ to grow with flexibility, he says. Lanzetta also views the IBD as enhancing his recruiting.

The OSJ manages around $175 million in client assets when including insurance-based assets, according to Lanzetta. Securities America’s automated platform will make it easy to expand and hire up staff accordingly, he says.

“It had never occurred to me that I would ever be in a position to have to look for a new ‘home,’” Lanzetta says. “One other important factor was to find a place where it would be less likely to potentially face the possibility of needing to go through another ‘consolidation’ in a few years. In my opinion, I think SAI is positioned to weather and grow as the industry consolidates further.”

Representatives for Woodbury and Questar declined to comment on the group’s move. Lightyear Capital-backed Woodbury expanded to 1,600 representatives after the Questar deal and another one last year to acquire the in-branch brokerage unit of Capital One.

Lanzetta’s OSJ has practice locations in Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Florida, and he officially joined Securities America on Dec. 10, according to FINRA BrokerCheck. His 25-year tenure includes time with LPL, Lincoln Financial Advisors and Baird.

Securities America also recruited more than 215 advisors from LPL’s incoming group of advisors in the wake of acquiring the assets of National Planning Holdings. Such deals prompt advisors to consider other IBDs, says Gregg Johnson, Securities America’s executive vice president of branch office development and acquisitions.

“Our commitment to supporting independent business owners in how they want to run and grow their practices fit first and foremost into this group,” Johnson says. “The transaction caused them to look more seriously at what options were available to them, and we were fortunate to get in front of them and win their business.”

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Recruiting Career moves Independent BDs M&A Gregg Johnson Securities America Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Questar Capital Woodbury Financial Services