LPL Adds Ohio OSJ with $850M in Client Assets

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An office of supervisory jurisdiction with $850 million in managed assets is joining LPL Financial from Securian Financial Services, the independent broker/dealer announced Monday.

The Toledo, Ohio-based Financial Design Group, founded by now-retired advisor Jim Strasser, is led by Mike Clements and Jason Strasser. The firm has 14 advisors and six support staff members. Clements argued LPL’s “open architecture” would help them meet the needs of a diverse client base.

“Our client mix is across the board, which means our advisors need a variety of tools and expertise to provide comprehensive strategies,” Clements added. “That’s what was so attractive about what LPL can provide.”

The firm was founded by the elder Strasser in 1995, with Clements coming onboard after graduating college in 1999; he spent most of his career with the company (with a two-year stint at Carillon Investments, according to BrokerCheck). He became a partner in 2007 and now holds the roles of president and CEO, and leads the firm’s advisors, and also works on practice management, case design and advance planning.

Jim Strasser’s son Jason Strasser started his career in public accounting at Ernst & Young until 2011, according to his LinkedIn profile. At that point, he joined his father’s firm and helped run the day-to-day of the company, eventually becoming chief operations officer. 

According to the duo, Financial Design Group chose LPL after conducting research on both affiliation partners and platforms, prioritizing a digital first client experience (Strasser had already done away with paper-based work processes, and believed LPL’s platform would help keep the firm’s streamlined workflow). The group is joining under LPL’s Strategic Wealth Services affiliation model, a costlier affiliation but one that provides a higher degree of personalized service for advisors looking for a broader range of capabilities and products for clients. 

Near the end of last year, LPL acquired the Kansas-based Strategic Partners, a firm with about $830 million in advisory, brokerage and retirement plan assets (as well as $600 million in fixed life insurance and annuity assets). The firm joined with National Financial Alliance, a Texas LPL OSJ, from Royal Alliance, one of Advisor Group’s broker/dealers. 

Earlier this month, LPL snatched three teams with $1.45 billion in total assets from Wells Fargo to become Carnegie Private Wealth, becoming the 29th team to join LPL’s Strategic Wealth Services division, the firm’s premium affiliation model.

However, the firm’s Q422 earnings report indicated that total recruited assets for 2022 were down about 8% from the prior year to $82 billion in total, including $15 billion in recruited assets from 2022’s fourth quarter, a boost from $13 billion in the third quarter but a drop from $17 billion in a year-over-year comparison. The firm’s advisor headcount stood at 21,275 as of the end of the year, up 231 sequentially and 1,399 YoY.

On the firm’s most recent earnings call, CEO Dan Arnold said he expected to see more advisors explore moving from the employee-based to independent model.

“We continue to see with more and more capabilities, folks in the independent model, looking for something that can serve and support them better and taking care of their clients,” he said. “And finally, even with being able to help with their own succession planning creates another catalyst of opportunities.”

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