One of the most aggressive outsiders in tapping dissatisfaction among brokers and investors since the credit crisis began is LPL Investment Holdings Inc. Its LPL Financial is nowhere close to a household name, but has grown into the fifth-largest U.S. brokerage firm, with 12,294 financial advisers, including more than 5,288 that have come aboard since 2006.
For brokers, one big lure of LPL Financial and other firms such as Charles Schwab Corp. and Raymond James Financial Inc. touting themselves as an alternative to Wall Street giants is money: Brokers at LPL get to keep 80% to 95% of commissions on their trades, compared with 40% or less at bigger brokerage firms. LPL brokers have to pay their own rent, employees and other costs, but can still come out ahead, the company says. Many of the brokers operate under their own mom-and-pop firm names, though some LPL brokers also pitch investments through banks.
– “Rise of the Little Guy: LPL Financial Lures the Frustrated Off Wall Street” (subscripton required), The Wall Street Journal, July 3
Interesting WSJ article on brokerage LPL Financial which focuses on independent brokers and investment advisors. Most individual investors probably haven’t heard of LPL but those of us in the business know about it.