LPL Financial Buys Retirement Firm, As IPO Looms

(Reuters) – LPL Financial Corp said on Wednesday it would buy portions of a company that manages group retirement plans, serving as a new division within the financial services firm as it heads toward a long-awaited initial public offering.

The move bolsters the wealth offering for the soon-to-be public LPL Financial, expanding its operations in managing group retirement plans.

LPL Financial will purchase pieces of National Retirement Partners Inc for undisclosed terms, the company said on Wednesday.

The deal is expected to close in fourth quarter 2010.

Once completed, LPL Financial will create a new division — LPL Financial Retirement Partners — that will be run by National Retirement’s chief executive, Bill Chetney.

Currently owned by two private equity firms, LPL Financial is working toward a public offering worth as much as $600 million, according to documents filed with U.S. securities regulators in June.

The company managed $285 billion in client assets as of March 31, according to an SEC filing, and has more than 12,000 advisers.

The company will list on the Nasdaq exchange, under the symbol LPLA, according to a July 9 Securities and Exchange Commission filing. (Reporting by Joe Rauch, editing by Matthew Lewis)