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LPL OSJ appoints John Johnson to lead corporate strategy

Gateway Financial Partners, the larger office of the supervisory jurisdiction of Glastonbury, Conn.-based LPL Financial, was founded by John C. Johnson, former CEO and President of National Planning Corporation, an independent broker/dealer, as Chief Strategy Officer.

NPC was one of the broker-dealers purchased by LPL in 2017 as part of its acquisition of National Planning Holdings, a network of B/Ds affiliated with Jackson National Life Insurance Company.

Johnson led the NPC from 2013 to 2018 and served as Senior Vice President of Business Development from 2000 to 2013. Prior to joining NPC, he was Vice President of Account Management at MetLife Investors.

David Wood, founder and chief visionary officer of Gateway Financial Partners, knew Johnson from the time his firm was registered with the NPC. In the acquisition Gateway went to LPL.

“Bringing him on as our new CSO perfectly aligns with our strategic and cultural goal of supporting and enhancing the growth of our consultants,” Wood said in a statement.

This news comes after Gateway recently acquired Advisors Pride, another LPL OSJ in Appleton, Wis. The deal represents Gateway’s first major OSJ acquisition, and has more than doubled its number of advisors, with the firm now serving 170 advisors in 26 states and with a combined $7 billion in assets under management. OSJ has a support team of 95.

Wood said the deal is the first for Gateway in anticipation of several acquisitions from other OSJs.

“We’re trying to act as a business partner for them, providing consultants with a deeper level of resources so they can outsource non-revenue producing activities,” Wood said. “That scale is enabling our advisors to grow really fast.”

Last year, the average advisor at Gateway increased its revenue by 40%, he said.

As Gateway looks to make more acquisitions, the firm may bring in a capital partner, such as Merchant Investment Management, Wood said. Merchant has taken a minority stake in another LPL OSJ.

Gateway will be looking to such partnerships not only to help finance other deals in the future, but also for the leadership and skill sets RIAs have acquired from those firms.

OSJ also announced this week the hiring of father/daughter team Brent and Katie Kimball with $163 million from GWN Securities.

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