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Merrill Lifer Josh Brown on the Leap of Freedom with LPL SWS

Two decades ago, Josh Brown transitioned from working as a mechanical engineer at a textile mill to a Merrill Lynch training program.

It was a slight leap, but one that paid off—eventually building a business from zero to $650 million in the firm.

Yet it was Merrill’s entrepreneurial spirit, the “thunder herd mentality,” that Josh felt that drove him and his friend and partner Scott Thompson’s success away.

That was until Bank of America came along and things changed over time. So much so that a member of the team with nearly four decades at the firm came up to Josh and said, “You have to get us out of here.”

His due diligence led him to consider independence, but the idea of ​​additional scaffolding and support was also very appealing.

And in a landscape that offers more choice than ever before, LPL’s strategic asset services stand out. So, in April 2021, Josh and his team left Merrill to launch Northend Private Wealth on LPL’s nascent independent channel.

In one of a two-part series hosted by Louis Diamond that dives into supported independence and exclusively LPL Strategic Wealth Services, Josh talks about his journey, including:

  • From Merrill the real inspiration behind their move—and how LPL Strategic Wealth Services won over other models and options.
  • The value they found in the Supported Independence Model—and how LPL helps Josh and his partners become better business owners.
  • The transition process—and what advice they got from the process that might help other counselors who are preparing for a move.

For Josh, the goal was ultimately to “control one’s own destiny by focusing on the day-to-day of financial planning, while removing the noise coming from the bank.” And his choice to build Northend Private Wealth allowed him to achieve that and much more.

In our next episode, Kimberly Sanders, SVP of Advisor Solutions at LPL Strategic Wealth Services, joins the show to talk about what makes their new model unique in the growing supported independence space and changing the industry landscape as a whole. So definitely listen.

Download the transcript of this episode…

Hear more episodes of Mindy Diamond on Freedom, A Podcast for Financial Advisors Considering Change,

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