LPL Financial’s hybrid registered investment advisor platform has more than tripled its average assets under management after a stellar recruiting period in 2009, the company said on Monday.

The company also announced that Derek Bruton, an executive vice president and national sales manager at LPL Financial, has taken over strategic oversight of the company’s hybrid registered investment advisor platform.

First launched in late October 2008, the hybrid RIA platform went into 2009 with $1.3 billion in assets under management. By year-end, the company expanded that amount to $7.3 billion among 92 RIA firms, representing an average of $80 million in AUM per firm. That also represents about 422 individual advisors, Bruton said. In October 2009, LPL had typically attracted advisors with $25 million or more of fee-based assets. 

Most of the growth in assets came from advisors who left wirehouses and other large independent advisory firms that operate substantial fee- and commission-based business. “We are competing head-to-head with the chief [large advisory firms] and winning business,” Bruton said in a telephone interview. Growth in the hybrid RIA channel is quickly outpacing growth in pure RIA and bank channels, Bruton said, citing recent research from Cerulli Associates. “We definitely feel like we are in the right place at the right time [with the platform],” he said.

LPL Financial also announced that it named Trevor Norton as senior vice president of RIA Services and financial planning. In that role, he will oversee the platform’s day-to-day management and operations, and financial planning offerings. Norton was senior vice president of LPL’s RIA program management and financial planning. Bruton said that Gary Gallagher, who was hired away from Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services in mid-2008 to launch the platform’s new offerings, is now executive vice president of product and platform development.

“We’ll continue to attract the larger independents and larger wirehouse advisors,” Bruton said. “What they want to do is move to a new firm with the least amount of angst and disruption of business.”

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