Securities America grabs $744M National Planning super OSJ as exits mount

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An office of supervisory jurisdiction with 35 advisors left National Planning for Securities America, marking at least the sixth grab by rivals of LPL Financial in the wake of its huge purchase.

Dan Cairo of Elite Financial Network, a hybrid RIA with $744 million in client assets, opted for the ninth-largest independent broker-dealer over LPL, the largest, Securities America announced this week. The Huntington Beach, California-based super OSJ has affiliated advisors in six counties across the state.

Cairo met for four hours with LPL representatives after the firm acquired the assets of National Planning Holdings’ four BDs on Aug. 15, he says. The move to Securities America instead followed three other additions to the firm in three months ― a former LPL hybrid RIA and two more National Planning practices.

“I don’t want to be placed into a process that was geared more towards a proprietary platform,” Cairo says. “When you’re an independent advisor, it’s all about options: Do you have the right number of options to properly service and take care of your clients?”

Elite formally joined the suburban Omaha, Nebraska-based BD on Oct. 16, according to FINRA BrokerCheck. A spokesman for LPL declined to comment on the firm’s departure, and a spokeswoman for National Planning did not respond Friday to a request for a comment.

Cairo launched Elite in 1992, six years after he started his financial services career at Advantage Capital. The practice first joined Royal Alliance Associates, remaining with the Advisor Group BD for 16 years before going to National Planning in 2009.

LPL’s size posed concerns for Cairo, as did a recent policy change requiring new hybrid RIA advisors to place their first $50 million in advisory assets on LPL’s platform, he says. The practice retained Pershing as its custodian through the move, although Elite has become a dual-custodial firm because Securities America custodies with Fidelity as well.

Securities America has set recruiting records each of the past three years, according to Gregg Johnson, an executive vice president for branch office development and acquisitions. With 2016 revenue of $535.7 million and 2,200 advisors, Securities America is the largest of Ladenburg Thalmann’s four BDs.

“We’re able to point to bringing on large producer groups or OSJs in the past,” Johnson says. “Though not ideal, it’s comfortable for us to operate on a shortened timeline.”

LPL’s big buy touched off a recruiting fight, with the acquiring firm slated to reveal its progress retaining NPH advisors later this week. So far, Woodbury Financial Services, Commonwealth Financial Network and other firms have peeled off NPH advisors managing more than $5.1 billion in combined client assets.

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Recruiting Career moves OSJs Independent BDs Independent advisors Gregg Johnson LPL Financial National Planning Securities America Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services