Since being poached in 2015, Trap Kloman quickly earned Wayne Bloom's trust and current president, Rich Hunter, is ready to step back.

September 11, 2018 — 12:00 AM UTC by Brooke Southall

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Brooke's Note: If there is a such thing as a no-drama broker-dealer, Commonwealth might be it. This hire seems to reflect a determination to stay that way.

Trap Kloman will become the new president and chief operating officer at Commonwealth Financial Network in 2019, after spending most of his career at LPL Financial.

Wayne Bloom
Wayne Bloom: In just three years, Trap has made enormous contributions.

To earn this latest spot, the 10-year LPL veteran, did it the old-fashioned way -- impress the CEO with both brains and the ability to get along with people at the office. See: A $350-million-AUM team of ex-lawyers-turned-advisors lands at Commonwealth after stops at Edward Jones and LPL.

Kloman, who joined Waltham-based Commonwealth in 2015, is currently its managing principal and chief financial officer. Commonwealth is the largest privately held IBD in the US, with over 1,800 associated advisors.

"He has an incredible command of the firm’s operational processes and continually seeks to improve the Commonwealth experience for both our advisors and staff," says CEO Wayne Bloom, in an email sent from his company's Alaska retreat. "Trap’s experience and calm, thoughtful demeanor make him a perfect candidate to take on the President and COO role at the end of the year." 

Rich Hunter, who Kloman replaces, will remain one of 13 managing partners at the IBD, but after 30 years on the front lines he will now focus on writing, special projects, mentoring, and helping to evolve Commonwealth’s service. "I’m looking forward to what I call my ‘next phase,’ during which I’ll step away from day-to-day management," he says.

Strategic Implications

Unlike most hires in a broker-dealer industry beset by change, this one's strategic implication is less about trying for the next tier than it is about improving on a good thing..

Commonwealth doesn't pretend to be flashy.

"Commonwealth has a very solid culture and disrupting that culture would be damaging to its growth prospects," says Ryan Shanks, principal of Finetooth Consulting. "Kloman ensures continuity between leadership and he’s earned the right to the position through his contributions." See:  What's up with J.D. Power naming Commonwealth top IBD for the fourth straight year

At LPL, Kloman was senior vice president for investor relations, vice president for corporate finance and vice president for corporate development. He led due diligence, valuation analysis and negotiations on acquisitions of broker-dealers and technology companies.

Asked whether some of those public-company-type skills might suggest ambitions for Commonwealth's pursuit of an IPO, Bloom replied by email: "None!"

Still, Hunter will be a tough act to follow, Bloom says in a release. "Rich has been a key ingredient in Commonwealth’s special sauce for almost three decades. His talents range from his mastery of financial precision for the firm and our industry, to being a constant voice for the advisor, day-in and day-out."

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