Right now, there is no shortage of issues to consider. Whether it’s new regulations, the rise of automation, pricing fluctuations, or evolving investor expectations, the volume of change facing financial professionals today is as large as the pace of change is rapid. And because of it, we are seeing the independent model evolve before our eyes. Decades of behavior is being asked to change, seemingly overnight. That’s a tall order for any business person.
I’ve always thought that you could learn a lot about an organization by how it responds to change. Does it rigidly stand its ground and eventually lose its relevance? Or does it blow like a seed in the winds of change until it becomes an unrecognizable version of its former self?
When it comes to navigating change, I prefer a more grounded, but nimble approach: staying rooted in a timeless principle, while adapting how that principle is brought to life.
More and more, I am absolutely convinced that this timeless principle – the very future of financial advice itself – is independent, objective advice.
Why? Because we believe the independent advice model is the one best-suited to address investor demands in the 21st century, and, quite frankly, we believe it’s the operating model that financial professionals prefer.
American investors are investing more of their assets with financial professionals who offer objective advice. According to Cerulli, independent financial professionals surpassed wirehouses in total share of assets managed starting in 2015. The independent segment has been, and is positioned to be the fastest growing segment in the financial professional-intermediated retail investment market as demand for independent, objective financial advice only increases.
As for the financial professionals who provide this valuable service, we are proud to serve more than 16,000 who choose to affiliate with LPL specifically because of how LPL defines independence, and how they get to define independence for themselves.
Is LPL facing the same set of changes that is facing the rest of the industry? You bet we are. And we will need to evolve the shape of the model in order to continue to lead through change.
But the more things change, the more one thing remains the same: today, LPL remains rooted in the timeless principle of independent, objective advice, just as it has for nearly 30 years.
All of us at LPL are proud of the fact that we’ve been the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer* for more than 20 years. That’s a great legacy. But personally, I’m more excited about the next 20 years for LPL. Working with an extraordinary group of financial professionals to lead the independent advice model into the future is a pretty great opportunity, and I can’t wait to work on that future together with our financial professionals.
President and CEO
*Based on total revenues, Financial Planning magazine, June 1996-2019