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LPL Financial Holdings' CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Stocks in this article: LPLA

The cost to recruit remain steady but the increased volume resulted in 41% expense growth in business development relative to 2011. Together these incremental items reduced adjusted earnings by $4.1 million and adjusted EPS by $0.04.

The 223 net new advisors joining LPL during the quarter, our expenditures to fuel advisor growth continue t produce results. The acquisitions and investments are consistent with our stated objective to provide broad and leading edge solutions to our advisors and to end investors.

We have a history of investing in the business through varying market cycles including market downturns. This includes developing our fee based platform in 1990, our move to (inaudible) in the year 200 and our initiation of our independent RIA platform in 2008. These advisor additions and the acquisition opportunities are not planned by quarter or time with stronger market conditions. That’s not the nature of either activity.

We recognized such opportunities come in cycles and this period will not persistent definitely. Our strategy continues to be to capture opportunities as they arise as long as we believe the fundamental health of the underlying business remains intact. This sustains our value proposition to our advisors and further sets us apart from many of our competitors.

With the challenging market conditions and increased investment impacting results, we are proactively taking steps to reduce our core expense run rate, operationally we continue to provide our advisors and their clients with the high level of service and execution they are accustomed to and stand ready to support them when growth returns.

As you expect, we are balancing this approach by pursuing cost management opportunities to control our expenses appropriately. The result is we are better positioned to manage to the uncertain market conditions that will likely persist to the end of 2012. Should conditions worsen we will reassess our levels in investment and degree of expense management. We have a history of been able to swiftly and effectively course correct in the face of deteriorating market conditions. Our experience has led us to see greater discipline in managing the efficiency with which we support our growth today. We have implemented resource planning models to evaluate our [staff need] and launched our service value commitment initiatives based on lean principles.

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