Bank Watch

LPL Financial to shift more jobs to Charlotte area

From left: Mark Casady, then-CEO of LPL Financial, and then-S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley attend the 2015 groundbreaking for the firm’s new campus in Fort Mill.
From left: Mark Casady, then-CEO of LPL Financial, and then-S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley attend the 2015 groundbreaking for the firm’s new campus in Fort Mill. dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

Brokerage firm LPL Financial said it plans to add 157 jobs at its new campus in Fort Mill, S.C., in a move that will involve layoffs and relocations from other parts of the U.S.

Boston-based LPL, which already employs about 1,500 in Fort Mill, expects the campus to start gaining the additional jobs in the second or third quarters of this year, spokesman Jeffrey Mochal said Monday. He said the jobs span a range of areas, such as legal, compliance and human resources.

Mochal said the move is designed to manage costs, increase efficiencies and meet LPL’s “growth commitments” in the Carolinas. In 2014, the firm announced plans to relocate its southwest Charlotte hub across the state line, in exchange for millions of dollars in incentives from South Carolina. Under those plans, LPL said it would eventually create 3,000 jobs at the Fort Mill site.

The 157 jobs coming to Fort Mill are currently being performed in San Diego and Boston – the firm’s two other major hub cities – as well as elsewhere in the U.S., Mochal said. Most of the jobs, 132, are in San Diego, he said.

To add people in Fort Mill, the company is offering 45 in San Diego the chance to relocate, while the rest may be hired locally, Mochal said. LPL said it has already sent layoff notices to 112 employees as part of the shift. Laid-off employees will be offered severance.

It’s the latest expansion by LPL in Fort Mill, where the firm has previously said it plans to concentrate its future growth. Mochal cited the Carolinas’ “high” quality of life, strong pool of financial services talent and cheaper living costs than San Diego and Boston as factors driving LPL’s expansion here.

“In general, it is more cost-efficient and it is more cost-effective,” he said of the Carolinas.

Mochal also stressed that the firm remains committed to Boston, where it employs about 100 people mostly in legal functions, and San Diego, where it employs about 1,300 including CEO Dan Arnold.

The relocation of the jobs to Charlotte also comes as LPL says it remains focused on cutting costs. Last year, its revenues fell about 5 percent, to $4 billion from $4.3 billion in 2015.

LPL has pushed to bulk up its Fort Mill presence after receiving $2 million from South Carolina to help prepare the site of its new campus, as well as future tax credits based on how many employees it hires. A ribbon-cutting for the campus was held in November.

Fort Mill is home to three direct reports to Arnold: Victor Fetter, chief information officer; Andy Kalbaugh, divisional president of national sales and consulting; and Burt White, chief investment officer.

Deon Roberts: 704-358-5248, @DeonERoberts

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