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Derek Bruton, the former head of LPL Financial’s independent advisor services, has landed at San Diego, Calif.-based Lucia Capital Group, a holding company that includes an RIA, an affiliated RIA, and a broker/dealer, and will be serving as CEO.
Bruton stepped down from his role at LPL Financial in April due to concerns over his interactions with other employees, LPL said in a regulatory filing. “I have a lot of respect for LPL as an organization; I have a lot of friends there, and I learned a ton in my experience there. But this is really about the future here,” is all Bruton would say about LPL. The nature of his "interactions" with other LPL employees is still unclear.
In his new role, Bruton will be responsible for growing Lucia’s businesses, which include RIA RJL Wealth Management, broker/dealer Lucia Securities, and affiliate RIA firm RJL Capital Management. Lucia has over 70 employees, $2.3 billion in client assets, and 16 branch offices around the country. The firm has about 24 W-2 employee advisors across the businesses. Bruton will report to Ray Lucia Jr., chairman of Lucia Capital Group.
Lucia also runs a coaching program for independent advisors, the so-called Bucket Strategy Advisor Network, used by 50 advisors. The program trains advisors on "The Bucket Strategy" approach, a liability-driven investment model that matches an investor’s liabilities, or needs, with their assets, Lucia said. If a client needs income today, for example, they’ll have a bucket of their portfolio invested in shorter-term, lower volatile investments. If they need income in the future, they’ll invest in higher return, or growth-oriented, investments.
In 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission accused Lucia’s father and nationally syndicated radio personality, Ray Lucia Sr., of misleading potential clients about his “Buckets of Money” investment strategy. Lucia, whom WealthManagement.com named one of its Outstanding Advisor Award winners in 2004, claimed he had successfully tested his strategy using historical data, but the SEC said he performed “scant, if any” backtesting, and the strategy’s value wasn’t proven.
“We have the utmost respect for Ray Lucia Senior and all of his career accomplishments, but we emphasize that his regulatory compliance issues are not connected with our firm," Lucia said in a wriiten statement. "There is an obvious family relationship between the individuals of these two businesses, but Lucia Capial has always been a separate and distinct entity from Ray Lucia Senior’s practice. Beyond this, it would be inappropriate for us to comment on legal or regulatory matters that do not involve this firm.”
Bruton will help the firm attract new advisors and look for potential roll-up acquisitions of advisor teams. Through Bruton, Lucia also hopes to get a larger following for the firm’s coaching program.