Alliant launched the investment program in 2009 and was looking for a partner with the scale and resources to grow and take the business “to the next level,” Laura Wallace, vice president of Branches and Retirement & Investment Services at Alliant, explained in telephone interview.
"The winning combination provided by LPL Financial of brokerage services, wealth management and trust solutions will enable Alliant Credit Union to significantly extend the range of services we offer our client members,” she said in a statement.
Wallace was especially enthusiastic about LPL’s technology platform because it would allow advisors to spend more time with clients and less on paperwork and “back-office things.”
“We expect to gain valuable new efficiencies through LPL Financial’s technological platform and to benefit from the vast amount of resources available through their dedicated support of the institutional channel,” she said.
The program, which grew to nine advisors from one when it launched in 2009, was with another broker-dealer. Alliant decided to move the program “after going to market to see what was available” as part of the credit union's due diligence, Wallace said.
“We are delighted to welcome Aliant Credit Union to LPL Financial,” said Andy Kalbaugh, managing director at LPL Financial Institution Services, noting that the firm was eager to help the credit union discover new avenues to grow revenue and expand its capabilities. He also said that the new partnership was reflective of a larger industry trend as more and more credit unions migrate to “service providers whose more robust capabilities can translate into more opportunities for growth.”
Alliant plans to add two more financial advisors to the program next year, according to Wallace. Of the current nine advisors, eight work in branches and one works in a call center providing financial advice to customers over the phone. The credit union serves more than 270,000 members through extensive online facilities and 14 branches nationwide and sees a need for more face-to-face advisors for its retirement and investment services program, Wallace said.
Alliant has $8.2 billion in assets, making it the sixth largest U.S. credit union based on asset size. Though it was established in 1935 as a credit union for employees of United Airlines, today it serves a diversified range of clients from major corporations to smaller enterprises and individuals.
LPL Financial is a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Financial Holdings Inc. The company provides technology, clearing and compliance services, practice management programs and training, and independent research to more than 13,100 financial advisors and approximately 685 financial institutions.