SAN DIEGO, Dec. 08, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --Leading retail investment advisory firm and independent broker/dealer LPL Financial LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:LPLA), today announced that LPL and Merit Financial Advisors (Merit), an independent advisor network on LPL's hybrid RIA platform, have welcomed the newly launched independent advisory firm, Consilium Associates. Consilium advisors, Kirk Wilkerson and Andy Lubben, reported that they managed $185 million in advisory assets, as of Oct. 15, 2015*, and their addition reflects continued growth by Merit Financial as it strives to expand its business.
"We are pleased to welcome Kirk and Andy to Merit Financial Advisors," said Rick Kent, managing partner of Merit, which reported managing more than $627 million of advisory assets, as of Nov. 30, 2015*. "With support from LPL, we are seeking to grow the services we offer through its hybrid RIA platform. Our firm is looking for advisors and teams that line up with our values, put clients at the forefront of their business and have established books of business, yet are looking to take their business to the next level. Kirk and Andy are a great fit and will help us continue to raise the standard of client service we provide at Merit."
Wilkerson and Lubben have 24 and 16 years of financial services experience, respectively, and provide strictly fee-based services, delivering comprehensive financial planning and investments to help clients work toward their goals. The duo, who are based in Merit's Alpharetta, Ga. office, were attracted to Merit because of the appeal of its independent model coupled with a desire to work with Doug Blanton, Chartered Financial Analyst and Merit's director of investments, who worked with Wilkerson and Lubben 10 years ago.
"We are excited to make the move to independence and have the local support of Merit Financial Advisors combined with access to LPL's extensive tools and resources," said Wilkerson. "We also look forward to working with Doug again, benefitting from his expert portfolio construction and providing our clients with objective financial advice as we help them to work toward their financial goals."
Wilkerson and Lubben have predominately served a niche market of divorcees and widows, as well as other individuals and families. In addition to supporting their client base of widows and divorcees through Consilium, Wilkerson and Lubben recently established a nonprofit organization, Women Renewed, to serve widowed and divorced women in their community. They recognized the need for women to access financial education and overall support. The organization was created with the goal of educating, equipping and connecting women with resources in their community. Wilkerson and Lubben teach areas of personal finance and also connect them to other resources and services in the area to help them through a difficult time.
"We are excited that Rick and the Merit Financial team have been able to grow their business with talented advisors such as Kirk and Andy," said Brad Hearn, LPL executive vice president, Business Consulting. "We recognize Merit's goal of wanting to help more advisors take their business to the next level and are excited to be able to provide support and resources to help them to continue to grow their RIA business."
*Asset numbers were separately reported by Merit Financial Advisors and Consilium Associates and based on prior business and have not been independently and fully verified by LPL Financial.
About Consilium Associates
Based in Alpharetta, Ga., Consilium Associates is comprised of advisors Kirk Wilkerson and Andy Lubben, who collectively managed $185 million in assets, as of Oct. 15, 2015. Providing strictly fee-based services, Consilium's advisors deliver comprehensive financial planning and investments to help clients work toward their goals.
About Merit Financial Advisors
Merit Financial Advisors is a retirement planning and wealth management company and an independent Registered Investment Advisor firm operating on LPL's hybrid RIA platform. With offices in Alpharetta, Ga., Birmingham, Ala., Davidson, N.C., Jacksonville, Fla. and Orlando, Merit employs 20 professional office staff and supports 15 advisors. Merit serves more than $109 million of brokerage assets and more than $627 million of advisory assets, as of Nov. 30, 2015, and has been supported by LPL since 2010.
About LPL Financial
LPL Financial, a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:LPLA), is a leader in the retail financial advice market and currently serves $462 billion in advisory and brokerage assets. LPL is one of the fastest growing RIA custodians and is the nation's largest independent broker-dealer (based on total revenues, Financial Planning magazine June 1996-2015). The Company provides proprietary technology, comprehensive clearing and compliance services, practice management programs and training, and independent research to more than 14,000 independent financial advisors and over 700 banks and credit unions, enabling them to help their clients turn life's aspirations into financial realities. Advisors associated with LPL also service an estimated 40,000 retirement plans with an estimated $115 billion in retirement plan assets, as of September 30, 2015. LPL also supports approximately 4,300 financial advisors licensed and affiliated with insurance companies with customized clearing, advisory platforms, and technology solutions. LPL Financial and its affiliates have 3,413 employees with primary offices in Boston, Charlotte, and San Diego. For more information, please visit www.lpl.com.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC.
Investment advice offered through Merit Financial Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Consilium Associates and Merit Financial Advisorsare separate entities from LPL Financial.
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Source: LPL Financial
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