Originally published on August 13, 2021 in Barron's
LPL Financial Adds $550 Million Oppenheimer Team to Breakaway Unit
by Sabrina Escobar
LPL Financial’s breakaway unit snatched up yet another sizable team striking out on its own, this time from Oppenheimer & Co.
The group, known as Tower 68 Financial Advisors, is run by CEO Kenneth South and COO Steve Arcos. They managed approximately $550 million in advisory, brokerage, and retirement plan assets at Oppenheimer, the team said.
It is the 11th team to join LPL’s Strategic Wealth Services (SWS) unit, which the company launched in 2020 to support advisors breaking away from wirehouses and going independent. The unit helps advisors to find real estate, develop a brand, and set up technology, among other things.
“We’re excited about the depth of dedicated support provided by the SWS model,” South said in a statement. “We’ve built great relationships with LPL’s SWS staff, who we consider an extended part of our team, and they provide strategic coaching and expertise in areas that are not my core competencies.”
South’s team was also attracted by LPL’s technology, especially its client-facing portal and trading platform, he says.
South began his career in wealth management in 1985, with stints at E.F. Hutton & Co., Lehman Brothers, and Citigroup , according to BrokerCheck, a public database maintained by industry self-regulator Finra. At Oppenheimer, he founded his solo practice, Tower 68, in 2006. The practice is named after the lifeguard tower South worked in as a teenager in Newport Beach, California.
Arcos worked at Dean Witter Reynolds, Painewebber Inc., and CIBC World Markets before joining Oppenheimer, according to BrokerCheck.
Strategic Wealth Services has helped LPL land large teams, such as a former Wells Fargo group overseeing $1.3 billion. The firm has emerged as one of the winners in a white-hot recruitment market.
Earlier this month, LPL signed Castle Wealth Partners, a $315 million team newly founded by industry veteran Mark Castle, the company said in a statement. Castle joins LPL’s Independent Advisor Alliance, an office of supervisory jurisdiction on LPL’s hybrid registered investment advisor platform.
Before going independent, Castle was senior vice president of Stephens’ private client group for nine years, and senior vice president of wealth management for Morgan Stanley.
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