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National Planning loses $340M firm amid reports of looming sale

With acquisition talk surrounding its parent firm, National Planning has lost a hybrid firm managing $340 million in client assets to Securities America.

Russ and Rob Lane of Compass Financial Resources bolted after 11 years with National Planning, the broker-dealer subsidiary of National Planning Holdings, Compass’s new IBD announced this week. The practice, based in suburban Kansas City, includes 10 advisors and two additional offices in the Midwest.

Experts foresee growing consolidation among IBDs. Kestra Financial acquired 600-advisor firm H. Beck just last week, and reports of a looming purchase of National Planning’s parent have been circulating for months, with LPL Financial emerging as possible suitor. Neither firm has confirmed an imminent deal.

In moving from National Planning to Securities America, a Ladenburg Thalmann subsidiary, Compass is going from the 15th largest IBD to the 9th largest. Though Russ Lane declines to discuss National Planning's status, he says he and his brother noticed cutbacks in back-office support from National Planning for their Olathe, Kansas-based firm.

“I felt like there was a little slippage in communication,” he says. “It was really good, and last year was not as good.”

A spokeswoman for National Planning Holdings did not respond to requests for comment.

Raymond James grabbed five multi-million teams in a month. Other firms to see big transitions include Wells Fargo and Ameriprise.
August 7

The brothers opened their practice in 1988 after both had spent several years as high school history teachers and coaches, Russ Lane says. Compass offers individual advisory and brokerage accounts, while the firm’s RIA, Ameritime, provides 403(b) plan services and staff pension workshops for school districts.

Ameritime serves as plan advisor for schools in nearby Lawrence and Hutchinson, where the firm has another office, as well as a consortium which works with over 50 area districts. Another advisor, former English teacher Brian Luther, expanded the business to Lincoln, Nebraska, in May 2013.

Compass, which has an office in Nebraska along with two in Kansas, officially joined Securities America on July 17, according to FINRA BrokerCheck. The logistical and cultural connection made Securities America stand out, Lane says.

The firm’s new BD has more than 2,200 advisors out of the roughly 4,400 in Ladenburg subsidiary firms nationwide. Another Ladenburg firm, Triad Advisors, grabbed an LPL team earlier this month. The stability of the parent company also played a role in the decision to join Securities America, according to Lane.

“We’re in the midst now of getting the clients moved over, and that’s a chore,” he says. “I hope never to ever, ever, ever have to do it again.”

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