LPL Investment Holdings will acquire Rockville, Md.-based Fortigent, a firm that provides wealth management solutions to advisors who run high-net-worth practices at independent advisory firms, trust companies and banks, the firms announced.

Fortigent, whose 90 advisory firm clients oversee more than $50 billion in high-net-worth assets, shores up LPL Financial’s growing share of high-net-worth business. Not all of those assets are held in custody with LPL, and advisors who sign on with Fortigent in the future will not be required to do so. Still, the deal is attractive for LPL, according to Robert Moore, CFO of LPL Financial.

“Their heritage is one of independent and absolute focus on the advisor, as is ours,” Moore said in a telephone interview. “Our particular approach is a single focus around the advisor, providing the services and capabilities they want without any conflicts.”

Having Fortigent — and its innovative services — on board offers LPL’s advisors an attractive and compelling platform alternative, Moore said.  

The firms did not disclose terms for the deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2012. Outwardly, the transaction will have very little impact on day-to-day life at Fortigent. The firm will retain its brand and existing management, including CEO and President Andrew Putterman. 

For Fortigent’s part, the support from LPL Investment Holdings will help ensure that Fortigent grows in ways that make strategic sense.

“They’ve been in the marketplace and created an unbelievable scale and structure,” Putterman said during the call. “If we’re going to [increase our] scale, having a partner like LPL is a wonderful opportunity.”

Donna Mitchell writes for Financial Planning.



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