LPL grabs Waddell & Reed team as part of $795M haul

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Four advisors bolted Waddell & Reed for LPL Financial during a week in which practices with $795 million in client assets joined their new broker-dealer. Meanwhile, teams with $680 million left their old one.

Partners Jennifer Malone and Adam Hawley of BMG Advisors shortened the name of their practice and moved it from a flagship branch of Waddell & Reed in Kansas City, Missouri, to their own nearby office. Including their team, the No. 1 IBD added 15 advisors from three teams in one late August week.

Waddell & Reed, the No. 13 IBD, lost 10 advisors that week, counting BMG and two other practices. A team with $235 million in client assets changed their affiliations to Mutual Securities on Aug. 22, and another practice managing $225 million launched an RIA while aligning with M.S. Howells the same day.

Hawley and Malone, whose father launched the practice in 1982 as the Buford-Malone Group, praise Waddell & Reed but describe LPL’s technology as superior in terms of integrations and resources. Greater independence also lured them away after major growth in the past two years, Malone says.

“We had the opportunity to attract people that maybe wouldn’t have come to the platform that we had before,” she says. “We wanted more options, more flexibility, and an ability to grow differently but not lose what we already had. That made independence pretty important.”

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The practice, which has $220 million in total client assets, is using LPL’s corporate RIA for custody of its roughly $125 million in advisory assets. LPL’s program allowing for advisors to join its corporate office of supervisory jurisdiction stood out as well, Hawley adds.

“I view that as a differentiator,” he says. “I value the fact that there’s a third party holding us accountable for what we’re doing.”

Waddell & Reed spokesman Roger Hoadley referred a question about their departure to an earlier statement the company made after the other two teams' departures in late August. The mutual fund firm has been shedding low-producing advisors as part of a multi-year evolution of its IBD.

“Our firm continues its evolution and, while that process will see departures and additions along the way, our focus is on executing on our strategy toward growth and advancement in support of our network of experienced financial advisors around the country,” Hoadley said.

Advisors Andrew Rogers and Stephen Minshull joined Malone and Hawley in BMG’s Aug. 21 move, according to FINRA BrokerCheck. Malone had spent 11 years affiliated with Waddell & Reed, while Hawley, Rogers and Minshull had a combined tenure of a dozen years with the firm.

Minshull’s eight-year career also includes time with wirehouse firms Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. All four advisors were college athletes, which Malone says helps them to work well together because they’re all “pretty stubborn, hard-working people.”

In addition to BMG’s move on Aug. 21, LPL grabbed three advisors with $300 million in client assets from Cetera Advisors the following day. A third team with eight advisors and $275 million came to LPL from Securities America on Aug. 24, BrokerCheck shows.

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