CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Aug. 20, 2020 – LPL Financial LLC, a leading retail investment advisory firm, independent broker-dealer and registered investment advisor (RIA) custodian, today announced that Focus, the company’s annual flagship advisor conference, welcomed a record 13,000+ registered attendees, including 10,000 financial advisors and staff members, nearly doubling the 2019 attendance. The conference is being held virtually for the first-time ever this year.
A premiere industry event
Focus is a premier industry event that brings together LPL advisors, institutional clients, sponsors and employees to hear from firm executives and other thought leaders, share best practices and gain valuable insights. The event also showcases the latest resources, technology and capabilities that LPL clients can leverage to help them deliver a better client experience, operate more efficient practices and build more value in their businesses.
During Focus, LPL President & CEO Dan Arnold acknowledged the extraordinary circumstances of 2020, and how the global pandemic and market dynamics have highlighted the fundamental need for financial advice. “The pandemic has shined a brighter light on the importance of having a financial professional, and is expected to accelerate the demand for advice in the future,” Arnold said.
Empowering advisors to thrive
To empower advisors’ ability to thrive through this transformative time and to meet the new demand and expectations for advice, Arnold said LPL will continue to invest more than $1 billion a year to provide resources that help advisors take care of clients in a differentiated way. He said, “We will invest in our capabilities to enrich how you are engaging with your clients through an omni-channel approach, streamlining and digitizing your workflows through ClientWorks and expanding the investment content on our advisory platforms while also lowering the cost.”
Arnold mentioned three factors that will shape the evolution of LPL’s value proposition: Convenience, shifting client expectations for more modernized experiences and value. During the three-day conference, LPL executives will take deep dives into these strategic initiatives.
Delivering differentiated capabilities for advisors and clients
In his Focus presentation today, Burt White, LPL managing director and chief investment officer, highlighted several planned technology enhancements and shared how new and improved capabilities are designed to deliver differentiated, meaningful client experiences with a goal of helping advisors be more agile, execute quickly and use technology as an accelerator for their business. Upcoming enhancements include:
- Meeting Manager, a new customizable tool that helps advisors facilitate, manage and run their client meetings more easily and effectively. With an agenda builder, smarter scheduling and meaningful client insights, Meeting Manager is designed to save advisors time and improve their interactions with clients.
- An e-Signature update that delivers more value to the tool. Advisors will be able to bundle documents requiring signatures to send in a single request to clients, making the process to open a new account easier and faster for both the advisor and the client.
- A new Account View client portal that deepens the digital experience for clients by giving investors the ability to sign a comprehensive paperless agreement with one click.
In addition, LPL announced this week a new partnership with Slack messaging platform, which gives advisors and their teams new tools to communicate in real time.
Other key initiatives discussed at Focus include:
Business Solutions: LPL is committed to partnering with advisors to help them run thriving businesses, providing the ability to outsource key business functions at an affordable cost, as well as providing advisors the capital and solutions to grow, operate and protect the value of their practices. Business Solutions offers administrative, marketing and CFO partners who deliver specialized services through a dedicated partnership. LPL reached a milestone with 1,000 practices subscribing to these services since the suite launched to all advisors last summer at Focus.
Advisor Financial Solutions: LPL advisors can also learn more on how to access capital, resources and expertise to support M&A or create a succession plan that meets an advisor’s short or long term monetization or exit strategies. Since Focus last year, LPL has launched an end to end M&A Platform that offers advisors a full-service, turnkey solution to help them execute their growth strategies. The firm also launched the Assurance Plan, which helps protect the value of an advisor’s business in the event of an unplanned exit, and deepened the conversation with advisors via business consultants to ensure advisors have a succession plan in place, with consultation on options available to meet their unique plans for the future of their business.
Business Models: LPL remains committed to meeting advisors where they are in the evolution of their practices. That includes expanding the ways advisors can affiliate with LPL, while providing existing advisors with flexibility to evolve their practices. This year, LPL introduced two new affiliation models that provide solutions for advisors seeking a move to independence, with the employee model also creating choice for advisors seeking to evolve their businesses over time. They include LPL’s Strategic Wealth Services and Independent Employee Advisor model.
Focus 2020 continues through Friday with daily general sessions featuring LPL executive leadership and keynote speakers Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell, as well as breakout sessions hosted by LPL and sponsors, and a digital square, a centerpiece experience for advisors to learn more about the many resources, tools and capabilities that can bring value to their practices. Additionally, Focus attendees will be able to engage directly with each other in virtual networking rooms designed to connect advisors and institutional clients across the country.
About LPL Financial
LPL Financial is a leader in the retail financial advice market and the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer*. We serve independent financial advisors, professionals and financial institutions, providing them with the technology, research, clearing and compliance services, and practice management programs they need to create and grow thriving practices. LPL enables them to provide objective guidance to millions of American families seeking wealth management, retirement planning, financial planning and asset management solutions.
Securities and Advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor. Member FINRA / SIPC.
**Based on total revenues, Financial Planning magazine June 1996-2020
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.
Statements in this press release regarding LPL’s future operating results, growth, capabilities and plans, including those related to the amount and timing of investments, the introduction and availability of new or enhanced products and services, future demand for financial advice and anticipated improvements to LPL’s client service experience and results of operations, as well as any other statements that are not related to present facts or current conditions or that are not purely historical, constitute forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on LPL’s historical performance and its plans, estimates and expectations as of August 20, 2020. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees that the investments, results, plans, intentions or expectations expressed or implied by LPL will be achieved. Matters subject to forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including economic, legislative, regulatory, competitive and other factors, which may cause investments, product and service developments, actual financial or operating results or the timing of events to be materially different than those expressed or implied by forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include: changes in prevailing economic and financial market conditions, including those that make planned investments impracticable or inadvisable; changes in the growth and profitability of the Company’s business; unanticipated difficulties or delays in developing and introducing improvements to LPL’s product and service offerings; the adoption by LPL’s current and prospective clients of LPL’s product and service offerings; changes in LPL’s business strategy and priorities; the effects of competition in the financial services industry and the success of the Company in attracting and retaining financial advisors and institutions; the effects of current, pending and future legislation, regulation and regulatory actions; and the other factors set forth in Part I, “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in LPL’s 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent SEC filing. Except as required by law, LPL specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this press release, even if its plans, estimates and expectations change, and you should not rely on those statements as representing LPL’s views as of any date subsequent to August 20, 2020.