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Former Merrill Lynch Advisers With $705 Million Assets Join LPL

Former Merrill Lynch financial advisers Alain Verhille, CFP, CPFA, and James S. Wood have joined LPL Financial’s high-net-worth-focused employee affiliation model, LPL Private Wealth Management, to launch Auctus Legacy Private Wealth Management. The advisors reported serving approximately $705 million in advisory, brokerage, and retirement plan assets.

Advisers from ArizonaTexas, and Florida also left Merrill Lynch to join LPL over the past two months.

Based in Oklahoma City, Okla., Verhille, senior vice president and wealth management adviser, and Wood, managing director and wealth management adviser, have more than 50 years of collective industry experience. They serve a primarily high-net-worth clientele, focusing on comprehensive planning that seeks to optimize wealth and reduce risk for multigenerational families. They are joined by Erikka Moore and Kathy Isernhagen, certified senior advisers.

“Our firm brings the right expertise, experience and clarity to the table to find paths forward for clients,” Verhille said. “We’re helping extraordinary people stay extraordinary.”

Having worked with each other for decades, the advisers have a deep friendship, understand each other’s strengths and preferences, and leverage their bond to connect more deeply with their clients.

“We are like a family, and our relationship with each other doesn’t stop at 5 p.m. on Friday,” said Wood. “We understand the value of building genuine relationships, knowing one another and what’s important to clients. I believe our clients feel like we give them a very good opportunity to have a path to succeed in their goals.”

Looking for the right blend of independence and support to create their ideal boutique practice, Verhille and Wood turned to LPL Private Wealth Management.

Tailored to the needs of high-net-worth-focused advisers, LPL Private Wealth is an independent employee adviser affiliation model featuring a comprehensive array of services and support to enhance client service delivery and business growth while upholding the tenets of independence. LPL said LPL Private Wealth advisers enjoy the benefits of industry-leading payouts, client ownership, and business autonomy while gaining access to enhanced service, expanded capabilities and an exclusive high-net-worth adviser community. LPL has developed focused resources including advanced estate and philanthropic planning, income tax strategy, trustee services, alternative investments platform, banking and lending solutions, and complex life insurance planning as well as a curated network of third-party specialists.

“It took us two years of due diligence as we analyzed a lot of companies to find the right fit,” said Verhille. “We wanted the top firm to help us refocus our wealth management business. LPL provides us with a dedicated team and white glove service while giving us access to help on the financial planning side of our business.”

We welcome Alain, James and the Auctus Legacy team to the LPL community and congratulate them on taking this next step in growing their client-centered high-net-worth practice. At LPL, we recognize that high-net-worth-focused advisers need sophisticated resources and support while also valuing the freedom to shape their practice in a way that best serves their clients,” said Scott Posner, LPL executive vice president of business development.

LPL Financial Holdings Inc. serves nearly 23,000 financial advisers, including advisers at approximately 1,100 enterprises and 570 registered investment adviser firms nationwide. Headquartered in San Diego, its total advisory and brokerage assets totaled more than $1.44 trillion as of March 31, 2024.

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