The history of LPL Financial

Formed in 1989 through the merger of two small brokerage firms, Linsco and Private Ledger, LPL was designed as an alternative to traditional Wall Street firms. The founders’ revolutionary vision was centered around helping financial professionals build competitive businesses while they served their clients’ best interests—treating them like people, not accounts. That remains true of LPL today.

Foundational values that inform our vision

At a time when few paid attention to the concept of financial planning, Private Ledger founder Bob Ritzman sought to offer a large group of mutual funds and securities to advisors—without pushing a particular product. And when Todd Robinson purchased Linsco in 1985, he was anticipating the growing desire for advisors to run their own independent practices—which proved true during the aftermath of the stock market crash in October 1987.

It was in the midst of this rapidly changing industry environment that LPL was formed. The entrepreneurial vision of Linsco and Private Ledger fused to form a guiding principle—supporting the best interests of its advisors and their clients.

More than 30 years later, LPL has become a Fortune 500 company and launched a new brand, yet this guiding principle remains—it’s simply expanded far beyond the investment services offered. Alongside the constant pace of change in the financial services industry and the world around us, LPL has evolved its technology, operations, risk management, and business consulting—while continuing to innovate its investment management services and platforms.

Where we've been, and where we'll go together

LPL graphic featuring clock and gears

Check out our blog series, The Big Picture, for more on the evolution of the financial services industry—and how LPL and our network of advisors have led the charge on this journey:

Throughout this communication, the terms “financial advisors” and “advisors” include registered representatives and/or investment adviser representatives affiliated with LPL Financial LLC, an SEC registered broker-dealer and investment adviser. 


1The intended audience of this communication is the general public and the purpose is to communicate the business operations of LPL Financial. Throughout this communication, the terms “financial advisor(s)” and “advisor(s)” include registered representatives and/or investment adviser representatives affiliated with LPL Financial LLC, member FINRA/SIPC and registered investment adviser.