LPL Financial just widened the gulf between itself and other competitors after announcing a $2 special dividend payout to shareholders slated for May, and plans to initiate smaller quarterly payments thereafter, industry observers said.

LPL Financial refinanced its existing $1.3 billion of senior secured credit facilities, extending the terms on two term loans by about two years. It will use the proceeds to fund a one-time special dividend of $2 per share on May 25, totaling about $222 million on shares of outstanding common stock.

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