Level Four Group is leaving Lincoln Financial Securities with a view toward growth

November 14, 2012 — 5:24 PM UTC by Brooke Southall


Level Four Group LLC, which has close to $1 billion in client assets, is transitioning approximately 50 licensed independent financial advisors to LPL Financial LLC.

Originally established to provide business development and consulting services to accounting firms and independent certified financial accountants seeking to add wealth management to their practices, Level Four of Plano, Texas, has grown to support 25 full-time independent investment advisors and 25 accounting firms and independent CPAs that sell investment advisory services as an additional service. Level Four has four retail offices — two in the Dallas-Fort Worth area; one in Austin, Texas, and one in Irvine, Calif. Before LPL, Level Four used Lincoln Financial Securities Corp. See: LPL vacuums up yet another $1-billion cluster of mostly RIA assets Alabama-style.


Jake Tomes,chief executive of Level Four, hopes LPL can help take his firm from a 70% transactional business to one based on fees — but not just any fees.

“There is a growing movement, already dominant in many countries throughout the world, toward providing financial advice on a fee-for-service basis,” he said in a release. “We believe more of our advice will be priced on an hourly basis, on a project basis or as part of a package of services. This shift also parallels a movement toward providing clients with a comprehensive suite of services, as in a family-office environment, wherein the client can receive not only wealth management but tax [and] estate planning, insurance and other financial consulting services.”

OSJ sweep

Level Four, founded in 2000, became an OSJ in 2003, formed an RIA in 2005 and established a tax and consulting business in 2010. Tomes says his firm is bringing 90% of its reps over from Lincoln.

The Level Four signing follows LPL’s killer success this year in signing a series of offices of supervisory jurisdiction, including Advantage Financial Group, Bridgeworth Financial LLC, Delaware Valley Financial Group, Washington Wealth Management LLC, Capstone Affluent Strategies, Gerber Kawasaki INC. and Macro Consulting Group LLC.

Bonus round

The deal also comes on the heels of LPL’s announcement that it is cutting back bonuses to OSJs by as much as 50%. See: LPL reaches hard-won agreement to rein in bonuses to big advisors that had proved to be overly generous.

Tomes declined to comment on how or whether prior signings or the bonus shift affected his own decision to join LPL.

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