Can LPL Financial carve out significant market share in the high-net-worth market? The nation's largest independent broker-dealer is certainly trying, but faces a difficult uphill battle.

"LPL doesn't have a brand in a very brand-sensitive market," says industry consultant Tim Welsh, president of Larkspur, Calif.-based Nexus Strategy. "You're competing against Goldman Sachs, Northern Trust, Bessemer Trust and high-end boutique RIAs. If a wealthy prospect hasn't heard of LPL, that's a big challenge."

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