LPL announced on Monday that it will move all Uvest bank brokers from Pershing to LPL’s self-clearing platform.
This comes a little over three years after LPL, the country’s largest independent broker-dealer purchased the largest of the bank broker-dealers, Uvest Financial Services as a wholly owned subsidiary.
The consolidation is expected to start in June and be completed by the end of 2011. “This underscores the commitment of LPL Financial to the financial institution channel and creates a unified platform for continued future growth in this space,” according to the press release.
The change will create new operational and service efficiencies and enhanced functionality on the technology platform, says Dan Arnold, LPL Financial managing director and divisional president of Institution Services. Arnold was head of Uvest when LPL bought it.
“The purpose is to enhance the business-to-business model,” says Arnold. Uvest brokers “will benefit from operational efficiencies and new functionality that will help their growth in the future. Before it was Uvest and Pershing, and now its one business.”
Examples of operational efficiencies include access to the BranchNet technology platform, which integrates all insurance, advisory, brokerage and annuity business on one platform as well as an “industry-leading advisory platform” and LPL’s integrated sales force CRM solution, says Arnold. “By concentrating our support for financial institutions on one self-clearing platform, LPL Financial will be better positioned to make greater investments in technology, research, practice management, and back-office support in addition to creating operational efficiencies and increased simplicity that will yield enhancements for all of our customers.”
On the service side, Uvest advisors will now have access to Service 360, which supports bank brokerage advisors through ongoing relationships with them, handling all their service issues, problem resolution and generally being responsive to their needs, says Arnold.
Why did it take three years to consolidate? “We wanted to be thoughtful about it and do it in a considered manner,” says Arnold. “The majority of new business coming into Uvest has been already going onto the LPL platform and existing Uvest institutions have wanted to transfer over. By focusing in on one platform can be more innovative and it made sense to consolidate.”
Currently LPL and Uvest combined has 2300 advisors, 1800 at LPL Financial Institutions and 500 at Uvest, who will transition over to the new platform.