After months of discussions concerning its initial public offering, LPL Investment Holdings Inc., the parent company of independent broker-dealer LPL Financial Corp., began trading on the Nasdaq Thursday.

"Our firm's public listing on the NASDAQ Stock Market is an exciting next step for our company," said Mark Casady, LPL's chariman and CEO. "We selected the symbol 'LPLA' to show our commitment to independent, unbiased advice. The 'A' represents our advisors and the objective advice they give to Main Street investors."

On Nov. 4, LPL set the terms of its public offering, in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company said it plans to raise about $445 million by selling 15.6 million shares at a price range of some $28.50, according to the filing documents.

LPL has grown into a powerhouse of a financial services company over the past decade. Its advisor base has grown from 3,596 advisors in 2000 to 12,017 as of Sept. 30, representing a CAGR of 13.2%, the company said.

That is one piece of a growth profile that will have little trouble generating investor interest in IPOs, according to Greenwich, Conn.-based Renaissance Capital, an IPO research firm. In its third-quarter analysis of the IPO market, Renaissance Capital said U.S. deal flow in the third quarter tracked relatively in line with that of the three preceding quarters. Thirty-three companies went public and raised a total of $5.3 billion. Though the amount of proceeds raised was down 18% year-over-year, it was up 8% sequentially, the company said.


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