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Ladenburg Acquires 450 Advisors with IBD Purchase

M&A in the independent broker-dealer space continues to heat up. Tennessee-based Securities Services Network, Inc. (SSN) has agreed to be acquired by Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services, Inc., (NYSE: LTS) (Ladenburg), a publicly-traded diversified financial service company for a total of $45 million.

Ladenburg adds 450 advisors, $13 billion in assets, and $115 million in revenue as a result of the acquisition, which is expected to finalize late 2014 or early 2015.

“This acquisition further underscores Ladenburg’s commitment to the independent brokerage and advisory industry, which we believe is one of the sweet spots of the financial services industry,” said Dr. Phillip Frost, Chairman of the Board of Ladenburg and its principal shareholder. “SSN’s culture, emphasizing support for the success of its advisors and clients, makes it a natural fit for what we are building at Ladenburg.”

Upon closing of SSN and other pending acquisitions, Ladenburg will have about 4,000 independent financial advisors managing $125 billion in assets, generating $1.1 billion in revenue.

SSN will continue to operate as a stand-alone brand and Wade Wilkinson, President and CEO of the IBD, will remain at the helm, supported by existing key executives in their Knoxville, TN headquarters.

“We are committed to the welfare of each and every one of our clients because we consider them friends and neighbors. Ladenburg enables us to maintain this philosophy while providing the products, services and technology we need to grow,” said Mr. Wilkinson in a statement. “Our existing culture, where entrepreneurial advisors can thrive in the business of helping clients achieve their goals, has led to national recognition and many client relationships that extend to multiple generations. We are proud to have reached this level of maturity, and look forward to continuing along this path with tools and support from Ladenburg.”

The $45 million price tag for SSN includes a cash payment of $25 million and $20 million of four year notes.

In early August, Ladenburg agreed to pay $24 million for KMS Financial Services, Inc. (“KMS”) an IBD with 325 financial advisors, $14 billion in assets under management, and approximately $84 million in annual revenues for the 12 months ending June 30, 2014.

Ladenburg’s network of IBD’s once all pending acquisitions are complete will include Securities America, Triad Advisors, Investacorp, KMS, and SSN.