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Responsible Business Practices

At LPL Financial, how we conduct business is as important as the business we conduct. It goes beyond abiding by laws, regulations, a code of conduct or a code of ethics. We strive for transparency and integrity in everything we do. It’s the best way to serve our stakeholders. It’s also good business.

...conducting our business with integrity is not just an expectation, it is a requirement.

- LPL Sustainability Report 2019

A business built on ethics and independence

LPL maintains a unique business model in the financial services industry. In contrast to some Wall Street institutions where financial advisors are employees of brokerage firms, our advisors operate independently. They can build the practices they’ve envisioned while doing what’s right for their clients.

Doing right by their clients is a key requirement for LPL’s independent financial advisors. It’s a foundational belief at LPL that investors deserve to achieve their visions for financial independence through relationships with trusted advisors. Part of earning that trust requires the delivery of independent, objective advice.

To help ensure that happens, we require advisors to sign a Code of Ethics. It covers the disclosure of conflicts of interest, compliance with securities laws, the protection of confidential client information, and more.

It helps that LPL doesn’t offer proprietary investment products or have investment banking operations. What we do provide our advisors is objective advice from our team of expert analysts, strategists, economists, and investment specialists. They deliver relevant, timely market and economic insights and thought leadership.

As a result, LPL advisors can make informed recommendations based on objective research, and select from a wide array of products to address their clients’ financial goals.

Code of conduct

Every day at LPL, in every business unit and in every role, there are choices to make, challenges to overcome, and ideas to take to the next level. Through our Code of Conduct, we guide advisors and employees in proceeding ethically. That includes ensuring we all:

  • Provide information that is accurate, complete, objective, relevant, timely, and understandable. This helps ensure full, fair, accurate, timely, and understandable disclosure in the reports and documents that LPL Financial files with or submits to government agencies and in other public communications
  • Comply with the rules and regulations of federal, state, provincial, and local governments and other private and public regulatory agencies
  • Act in good faith, responsibly, with due care, competence, and diligence, and without misrepresenting material facts or allowing one’s independent judgment to be subordinated
  • Respect the confidentiality of information acquired in the course of one’s work except when authorized or otherwise legally obligated to disclose; confidential information acquired in the course of one’s work will not be used for personal advantage
  • Share knowledge and maintain skills important and relevant to shareholders’ needs
  • Proactively promote and demonstrate ethical behavior as a responsible partner among peers, in the work environment, and in the community
  • Achieve responsible use of and control over all assets and resources employed or entrusted

The LPL Code of Conduct also helps us embrace and practice our corporate values daily — the things we value about working at LPL Financial and that guide us in achieving our mission to “take care of our advisors so they can take of their customers.”
 

Corporate governance

Operating a business responsibly starts at the top. Our Corporate Governance guidelines help ensure the ethical functioning of LPL’s Board of Directors and its committees. It also assists them in carrying out their responsibilities and making decisions that serve the best interests of LPL and its broad range of stakeholders.
 

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"1" indicates the highest level of governance quality and lowest level of governance risk.
 

Strong regulatory track record

Thousands of advisors and hundreds of institutions choose to affiliate with LPL, in part, because of our reputation for maintaining high ethical standards. We continue to add resources to build on our strong record of helping protect our advisors and their clients in the changing regulatory landscape.

Our 300-person Compliance team provides oversight of compliance and monitoring requirements. Working closely with our advisors as a true business partner, we act proactively on their behalf to help them run compliant practices.

In addition, LPL custodies and clears the majority of our customers’ transactions, providing an enhanced customer experience and expedited processing capabilities — all backed by robust, responsive service center and operations organizations focused on providing timely, accurate, and consistent support.
 

On November 13, 2018, the board of directors of LPL Financial Holdings Inc. amended and restated the code of conduct applicable to employees and financial advisors associated with LPL Financial LLC, and adopted a separate code of conduct applicable to non-employee directors of LPL Financial Holdings Inc.