NEW YORK, Sept 18 (Reuters) - LPL Financial Holdings, the biggest independent broker-dealer in the United States, has recruited a six-person team that had been managing more than $2 billion for private banking clients of Fifth Third Bancorp .
The group, which is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and plans to open another office in Detroit, calls itself StreamSong Advisors and is a registered investment adviser. It managed more than $1 billion of client assets at the bank, and plans to offer fee-based financial planning and investing services to entrepreneurs looking to monetize their businesses, said Thomas Braun, head of the team.
Braun, who ran several business ventures of his own before joining Fifth Third four years ago, said LPL beat out three other firms that made attractive offers to the group during its six-month search for a partner to support their planned independence.
The other finalists were Cantor Fitzgerald L.P.'s new Wealth Partners business, Fidelity Investments' Institutional Wealth Services unit and HighTower. Braun was impressed by the Cantor name and said it and HighTower offered the distant prospect of stock that could be cashed out if they went public. Fidelity had strong custodial services but less transition support. The transition package of financial, marketing and platform support from LPL ultimately won the day.
"It was their scope and breadth," said Braun, noting that LPL also promised help with referrals from some of smaller brokerage practices in its corral who are less equipped to offer private banking skills.
LPL, which offers brokerage, marketing services and products to almost 14,000 brokers, has said it aims to recruit 400 to 500 net new brokers a year to support strong sales to offset the high percentage of revenue it allows affiliated advisers to keep.
Braun, generally works with clients who have investable assets of between $500,000 and $2 million and charges about 1 percent to manage their portfolios. His team includes wealth planner and estate planning specialist Bob Boesiger, a second registered financial adviser, a client portfolio manager and two assistants.
Reporting by Jed Horowitz; editing by Andrew Hay; firstname.lastname@example.org; + 1 646 223 6826; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com