LPL acquires trading and rebalancing fintech for at least $12M
In its third acquisition of the year, LPL Financial acquired trading and rebalancing software firm Blaze Portfolio for at least $12 million.
Blaze, a 10-year-old firm based in Chicago, works with 135 investment firms to provide advisor-facing trading systems through its proprietary software. The firm has more than $120 billion in assets in its systems, accordingto Blaze’s website.
To acquire the firm, LPL will pay up to $5 million more in contingency payments “subject to milestones and customary purchase price adjustments,” the company said in a statement after closing the Oct. 26 deal. It comes after LPL acquired the assets of smaller IBDs Lucia Securities and E.K. Riley Investments in two other deals it closed in the third quarter.
LPL last purchased a fintech firm in December 2019, when it bought AdvisoryWorld for $28 million. The firm’s software later helped LPL roll out customized outsourced portfolios it calls Advisor Sleeve.
LPL plans to retain Blaze’s nine-member staff and to keep offering the software on a standalone basis, according to Chief Investment Officer Burt White.
“For many advisors, our trading platform is their lifeblood, and the way they express and execute their investment strategies for their clients in a sophisticated way,” White said in a statement. He called Blaze “a dynamic trading and rebalancing system that can be utilized by practices of all sizes, affiliations and sophistications to meet their clients’ needs.”
Blaze already has integrations with at least 13 portfolio accounting and reporting systems, such as Addepar, Black Diamond, Morningstar and Orion, and seven custodians and trading firms, including Charles Schwab, Fidelity Investments and BNY Mellon’s Pershing, its website shows. RIAs, BDs, family offices and investment managers comprise its main client base.
“With LPL, we have opportunity to scale, expand the capabilities of our product and partner with an experienced team to design technology around the advisor experience,” Blaze CEO Bryson Pouw said in a statement.