LPL Financial (NASDAQ: LPLA ) has gained a father-and-son team managing approximately $1.2 billion in client assets from Morgan Stanley, as announced on Monday. The Los Angeles-based Francis Group, led by Burke and Christopher Francis, has joined LPL's Strategic Wealth Services division, which aids advisory teams transitioning from wirehouses and other large institutions.
The decision to leave Morgan Stanley was driven by the Francis Group's desire for independence from corporate sales goals and agendas. They also sought the ability to offer more specialized services to high net worth clients and families. "We used to tell our clients 'bigger is better,' but we realize that is not the case anymore," Burke Francis said in a statement. He added that they now have the freedom to build their business on their own terms, free from corporate influence.
Burke Francis has been serving high net worth individuals primarily in the Los Angeles area since 1966. He joined the brokerage firm Dean Witter in 1968, which merged with Morgan Stanley in 1997. Christopher Francis joined his father's practice in 1998 after working in real estate and other businesses.
As of the end of 2022, the Francis Group was managing $1.2 billion in advisory, brokerage, and retirement plan assets. They will now join LPL Strategic Wealth Service's team of 96 advisors managing $20 billion in assets, gaining access to a business strategist, marketing partner, chief financial officer, and administrative assistant.
Earlier this week, Burke W. Francis and his son Chris officially joined LPL's Strategic Wealth Services channel on September 13 in Westlake, California. The elder Francis spent nearly his entire 56-year career at Morgan Stanley and its predecessors.
Both Burke and Chris possess a combined industry experience of 86 years. Burke began his career at Morgan Stanley predecessor Hornblower & Weeks in 1996. Chris started his career at Interfirst Capital Corp. in 1998, but left after less than a year for Morgan Stanley's Smith Barney predecessor.
LPL's Strategic Wealth Services unit has $19.3 billion in assets under management and 96 advisors, according to its website. The unit has been successful in attracting wirehouse breakaways this summer, including teams from Merrill Lynch in California and New Jersey. A spokesperson for Morgan Stanley confirmed the departure of the Francis Group.
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