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Registered Rep.’s top-rated 2010 independent broker/dealer advisor Ron Carson has announced plans to leave LPL Financial (Nasdaq: LPLA) to become an independent registered investment advisor in July and start his own broker/dealer later this year. Carson’s firm, Omaha, Neb.-based Carson Wealth Management Group, has $3 billion in assets under advisement and has been with LPL for the last 20 years.
“We realize that the marketplace is demanding more and more from advisors,” Carson said in a statement. “We want to continue to stay ahead of the competition and this required a move to our own RIA.” Carson said he wants to expand his assets under management 10-fold over the next 10 plus years.
Carson told Registered Rep. that the majority of his firm’s assets would stay custodied with LPL, but he wanted to have the ability to custody assets with multiple custodians, including TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab Institutional.
“We have the unique ability to clear for both a broker-dealer and an RIA,” said Bill Dwyer, president of national sales and marketing at LPL Financial, in a statement. “This represents the breadth and depth of capabilities we can bring together to support our customers across the widest possible array of business models they can choose from.”
Some of Carson Wealth’s clients already have a significant amount of assets at other custodians, so this move would eliminate the pain of that transition. The move would also attract advisors who have a significant amount of client assets on those other platforms, he said. “We needed to provide multiple custodians for acquisitions,” of advisors and clients.
Carson has plans to make acquisitions in the future, whether that’s an IBD, a hybrid firm or an RIA. He’s currently eyeing several acquisitions, but it has to be a good cultural fit, he said.
The move would also open up more opportunities to expand the firm’s co-managed business, Carson said. The firm is part of advisor coaching group Peak Advisor Alliance, but it cannot currently work with 58 percent of the group’s members because they are not affiliated with LPL.
Carson does not expect a lot of advisors, even those with similar assets and scale, to follow suit in starting their own broker/dealer because of the time and money required. For a lot of advisors, it won’t be worth it.
“There’s not much incremental money in doing everything yourself,” he said. “It is a royal pain in the backside.”