LPL continues its growth streak with the acquisition of assets from National Retirement Partners, a California based broker/dealer.

NRP employees will join LPL Financial to form a new division dubbed LPL Financial Retirement Partners. The acquisition announcement comes on the heels of LPL’s June 4 S-1 filing with the SEC stating its intent to go public.

NRP has over 150 member firm offices in over 39 states comprised of independent advisors that provide plan consulting, fiduciary best practices and investment due diligence to retirement plan sponsors and their participants as well as comprehensive wealth management tools. One industry recruiter estimates that NRP has about 220 brokers.

Larry Papike, president and owner of Cross-Search, a Jamul, Calif.-based recruiting firm, is not surprised by the deal. He points out that NRP clears through Pershing and JP Morgan. “The big question is whether LPL will eventually roll this group up into its own clearing house or let it remain with Pershing and JP Morgan,” he says. Papike says in acquisitions like this one, it’s important that there is a smooth transition for clients either way.

About two years after being acquired by LPL, reps from Pac Life were forced to leave behind their clearing relationship with Pershing and move into LPL’s self-clearing platform.

LPL has been on a major growth path over the last few years. Its advisor base has grown from 3,596 advisors in 2000 to 12,026 as of March 31, 2010, representing a compound annual growth rate in excess of 14 percent. And since 2005, the company has expanded net revenues at an 18 percent CAGR. LPL has made several acquisitions during that time including the 2006 purchase of Charlotte, NC-based UVEST, which provides a third-party investment and insurance services to community and regional banks. In 2007, LPL acquired three b/ds from Pacific Life. The deal added 2,200 reps to the company bringing LPL’s total to 9,900 at the time.