Higher-than-expected expenses depressed LPL Financial's first-quarter profits, while the defection of an affiliated bank took away 40 advisors -- but the company is anticipating strong growth for 2014.

"We think the [recruiting] pipeline is solid for next quarter," says CFO Dan Arnold. Despite modest growth of 53 advisors in the first three months of the year -- down from 110 and 154 in the previous two quarters -- Arnold says, "The slowdown was an industry-wide one, and so we think the net new advisors we ultimately delivered is one of the industry's leading outcomes."

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