May 30, 2012 / 6:33 PM / in 5 years

ON THE MOVE-LPL adds five, expands retirement business

May 30 (Reuters) - LPL Financial, the largest U.S. independent broker-dealer by total revenue, said on Wednesday it added five veteran advisers to its retirement planning division as the firm expands its presence in the market for retirees in the United States.

The new recruits, based in California, Idaho, Nevada and Ohio, manage about $550 million in client assets. They joined LPL’s two-year-old Retirement Benefits Group, whose advisers consult on more than $7 billion in retirement plan assets.

“We’re growing on referrals,” RBG principal Larry Deatherage said in an interview on Wednesday. “We’re looking for high-quality pension advisers and building out our wealth management platform on the higher-end.”

Since LPL acquired National Retirement Partners in 2010, the company has worked to bulk up its retirement-plan business by recruiting advisers and growing its asset base. The firm added more than nine retirement plans in the first quarter, Deatherage said, ranging from $10 million to $200 million in asset size each.

Advisers Matthew Haerr, Christine Soscia, Amir Arbabi, Peter Littlejohn and William Brown have joined LPL, where they now work with institutional clients in areas of plan design, compliance and investment due diligence.

With these new additions, LPL’s retirement-planning group now covers most of the western United States and plans to move east. Deatherage said the growing number of “one-off” brokers who specialize in areas of retirement planning has created an opportunity for the group to expand.

“People are looking for larger groups to associate with that have more of a market presence and great compliance,” he said.

LPL Financial is a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Investment Holdings Inc, which has about 12,900 financial advisers in its network. So far this year, LPL has added advisers who managed at least $1.4 billion in client assets at their previous firms, based on moves tracked by Reuters.

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