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UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
Form 10-K
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023

OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from        to

Commission File Number 001-34963

LPL Financial Holdings Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware20-3717839
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
4707 Executive Drive,San Diego,California92121
(Address of principal executive offices)
(Zip Code)
    
(800)877-7210
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Trading Symbol(s)
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock — $0.001 par value per shareLPLAThe Nasdaq Global Select Market
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.  Yes o     No x

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act.  Yes o     No x

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.  Yes x     No o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).  Yes x    No  o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer xAccelerated filer oSmaller reporting company
Non-accelerated filer oEmerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. x

If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements. o

Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to § 240.10D-1(b). o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).  Yes    x No 

As of June 30, 2023, the aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was $16.6 billion. For purposes of this information, the outstanding shares of Common Stock owned by directors and executive officers of the registrant were deemed to be shares of the voting stock held by affiliates.

The number of shares of Common Stock, par value $0.001 per share, outstanding as of February 16, 2024 was 74,452,950.




DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the definitive Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which the Company intends to file within 120 days of the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023, are incorporated by reference into Part III.



TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
               SIGNATURES    
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WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION
We file annual, quarterly, and current reports, proxy statements and other information required by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Our SEC filings are available to the public on the SEC’s website at sec.gov.
We post the following filings to our website at lpl.com as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC: our annual reports on Form 10-K, our proxy statements, our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, our current reports on Form 8-K and any amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act. Copies of all such filings are available free of charge by request via email (investor.relations@lplfinancial.com), telephone ((617) 897-4574) or mail (LPL Financial Investor Relations at 1055 LPL Way, Fort Mill, SC 29715). The information contained or incorporated on our website is not a part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
We may use our website as a means of disclosing material information and for complying with our disclosure obligations under Regulation Fair Disclosure promulgated by the SEC. These disclosures are included on our website in the “Investor Relations” or “Press Releases” sections. Accordingly, investors should monitor these portions of our website, in addition to following the Company’s press releases, SEC filings, public conference calls and webcasts.
When we use the terms “LPLFH”, “LPL”, “we”, “us”, “our” and “the Company”, we mean LPL Financial Holdings Inc., a Delaware corporation, and its consolidated subsidiaries, taken as a whole, unless the context otherwise indicates.
SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Statements in Part II, “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and other sections of this Annual Report on Form 10-K regarding:
the Company’s future financial and operating results, outlook, growth, plans, business strategies, liquidity, future share repurchases and dividends, including statements regarding future resolution of regulatory matters, legal proceedings and related costs;
a potential settlement with the SEC related to its civil investigation into the Company’s compliance with records preservation requirements for business-related electronic communications stored on personal devices in connection with an industry-wide review of off-platform communications (the “Off-Channel Investigation”);
the Company’s future revenue and expense;
future affiliation models and capabilities;
the expected closing of the Company’s acquisition of Atria Wealth Solutions, Inc. (“Atria”)
the expected transition and onboarding of advisors, enterprises and assets in connection with our acquisition and recruitment activity;
market and macroeconomic trends, including the effects of inflation and the interest rate environment;
projected savings and anticipated improvements to the Company’s operating model, services and technologies as a result of its investments, initiatives, programs and acquisitions; and
any other statements that are not related to present facts or current conditions or that are not purely historical, constitute forward-looking statements.
These forward-looking statements reflect the Company’s expectations and objectives as of February 21, 2024. The words “anticipates,” “believes,” “expects,” “may,” “plans,” “predicts,” “will” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees that expectations or objectives expressed or implied by the Company will be achieved. The achievement of such expectations and objectives involves risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, levels of activity or the timing of events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include:
changes in general economic and financial market conditions, including retail investor sentiment;
changes in interest rates and fees payable by banks participating in the Company’s client cash programs, including the Company’s success in negotiating agreements with current or additional counterparties;
the Company’s strategy and success in managing client cash program fees;
fluctuations in the levels of advisory and brokerage assets, including net new assets, and the related impact on revenue;
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effects of competition in the financial services industry and the success of the Company in attracting and retaining financial advisors and enterprises, and their ability to market financial products and services effectively;
whether retail investors served by newly-recruited advisors choose to move their respective assets to new accounts at the Company;
difficulties and delays in onboarding the assets of acquired or recruited advisors, including the receipt and timing of regulatory approvals that may be required;
disruptions in the businesses of the Company that could make it more difficult to maintain relationships with advisors and their clients;
the choice by clients of acquired or recruited advisors not to open brokerage and/or advisory accounts at the Company;
changes in the growth and profitability of the Company’s fee-based offerings;
the effect of current, pending and future legislation, regulation and regulatory actions, including disciplinary actions imposed by federal and state regulators and self-regulatory organizations;
the cost of settling and remediating issues related to regulatory matters or legal proceedings, including actual costs of reimbursing customers for losses in excess of our reserves;
the negotiation of the civil monetary penalty and definitive documentation in connection with the settlement of the Off-Channel Investigation;
changes made to the Company’s services and pricing, including in response to competitive developments and current, pending and future legislation, regulation and regulatory actions, and the effect that such changes may have on the Company’s gross profit streams and costs;
execution of the Company’s capital management plans, including its compliance with the terms of the Company’s amended and restated credit agreement (the “Credit Agreement”), the committed revolving credit facility at our primary broker-dealer subsidiary, LPL Financial LLC (the “Broker-Dealer Revolving Credit Facility”), and the indentures governing the Company’s senior unsecured notes (the “Indentures”);
strategic acquisitions and investments, including pursuant to the Company’s Liquidity & Succession solution, and the effect that such acquisitions and investments may have on the Company’s capital management plans and liquidity;
the price, availability and trading volumes of shares of the Company’s common stock, which will affect the timing and size of future share repurchases by the Company, if any;
execution of the Company’s plans and its success in realizing the synergies, expense savings, service improvements or efficiencies expected to result from its investments, initiatives and acquisitions, expense plans and technology initiatives;
whether advisors affiliated with Prudential Financial, Inc. (“Prudential”) will transition registration to the Company and whether assets reported as serviced by such financial advisors will translate into assets of the Company;
the failure to satisfy the closing conditions applicable to the strategic relationship agreement between the Company and Prudential, including regulatory approval;
the performance of third-party service providers to which business processes have been transitioned;
the Company’s ability to control operating risks, information technology systems risks, cybersecurity risks and sourcing risks; and
the other factors set forth in Part I, “Item 1A. Risk Factors.”
Except as required by law, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, and you should not rely on statements contained herein as representing the Company’s view as of any date subsequent to the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

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PART I
Item 1.  Business
Overview
LPL serves the advisor-mediated marketplace as the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer, a leading investment advisory firm, and a top custodian. We serve more than 22,000 financial advisors, including advisors at approximately 1,100 enterprises and at approximately 570 registered investment advisor (“RIA”) firms nationwide, providing the front-, middle- and back-office support our advisors need. Through our comprehensive platform, we offer integrated technology solutions; brokerage and advisory platforms; clearing, compliance, business and planning and advice services; consultative practice management programs and training; and in-house research to help our advisors deliver advice to their clients and run successful businesses.
We are steadfast in our commitment to the advisor-mediated model and the belief that investors deserve access to personalized guidance from a financial advisor. We believe advisors should have the freedom to choose the business model, services and technology they need and to manage their client relationships. We believe investors achieve better outcomes when working with a financial advisor, and we strive to make it easy for advisors to do what is best for their clients.
We believe that we are the only company that offers the unique combination of an integrated technology platform, comprehensive self-clearing services and access to a wide range of curated non-proprietary products all delivered in an environment unencumbered by conflicts from product manufacturing, underwriting and market-making.
LPL Financial Holdings Inc., which is the parent company of our business, was incorporated in Delaware in 2005. The Company’s most significant wholly owned subsidiaries are described below:
LPL Holdings, Inc. is a direct subsidiary of LPL Financial Holdings Inc. and is an intermediate holding company of our business.
LPL Financial LLC (“LPL Financial”) is a clearing broker-dealer and an investment adviser that clears and settles customer transactions.
LPL Insurance Associates, Inc. (“LPLIA”) operates as a brokerage general agency that offers life and disability insurance products and services.
AW Subsidiary, Inc. is a holding company for AdvisoryWorld and Blaze Portfolio Systems LLC (“Blaze”). AdvisoryWorld offers technology products, including proposal generation, investment analytics and portfolio modeling, to both the Company’s advisors and external clients in the wealth management industry. Blaze provides an advisor-facing trading and portfolio rebalancing platform.
The Private Trust Company, N.A. (“PTC”) provides trust administration, investment management oversight and, along with its affiliate Fiduciary Trust Company of New Hampshire, Individual Retirement Account (“IRA”) custodial services.
LPL Employee Services, LLC and its subsidiary, Allen & Company of Florida, LLC (“Allen & Company”), along with their affiliate, Financial Resources Group Investment Services, LLC (“FRGIS”), provide primary support for the Company’s employee advisor affiliation model.
Our Strategy
At LPL, our mission is to take care of our advisors so they can take care of their clients. Our vision is to become the leader across the advisor-mediated marketplace by empowering advisors to deliver advice to their clients and operate thriving businesses. In order to achieve this vision, our strategy is to meet advisors and enterprises where they are in the evolution of their businesses, provide capabilities to help advisors differentiate and win investors, create an industry-leading service experience that delights advisors and enterprises and their clients, and help advisors and enterprises run the most successful businesses in the industry.
Our Business
Advisor Relationships
Our business is dedicated exclusively to our advisors; we are not a market-maker nor do we offer investment banking or underwriting services. We offer no proprietary products of our own, and, as a result, we enable the independent financial advisors and enterprises that we support to offer their clients lower-conflict advice.
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We work alongside advisors to navigate complex market and regulatory environments and strive to empower them to create the best outcomes for investors. In addition, we make meaningful investments in technology and services to support the growth, productivity and efficiency of advisors across a broad spectrum of business models as their practices evolve. Our advisors are a community of diverse financial services professionals who support approximately 8.3 million client accounts. They build long-term relationships with their clients in communities across the United States by guiding them through the complexities of investment decisions, retirement solutions, financial planning and wealth management. Our services are designed to support the evolution of our advisors’ businesses over time and to adapt as our advisors’ needs change.
The majority of our advisors are independent practitioners who are viewed as local providers of independent advice. Many of our advisors operate under their own business name, with LPL offering assistance with their branding, marketing and promotion and regulatory review. We believe we offer a compelling economic value proposition to independent advisors, which is a key factor in our ability to attract and retain advisors and their practices. The independent channels pay advisors a greater share of advisory fees and brokerage commissions than the captive channels — generally 80-100% compared to 30-50% for captive channels. Most of our independent financial advisors are business owners who, unlike their captive counterparts, also benefit from building equity value in their own businesses. We also support advisors through our independent employee advisor affiliation model, where they benefit from a full-service employee relationship with us while generally retaining ownership of their client relationships in exchange for a slightly lower payout than our traditional independent model. Furthermore, we believe that our technology and service platforms enable our advisors to operate their practices with a greater focus on serving investors at a lower cost than other independent advisors.
Our more than 22,000 advisors average over 20 years in the industry, which generally allows us to focus on supporting and enhancing our advisors’ businesses without needing to provide basic training or subsidizing advisors who are new to the industry. Our flexible business platform allows our advisors to choose the most appropriate business model to support their clients whether they conduct brokerage business, offer brokerage and/or fee-based services on our corporate RIA platform, or provide fee-based services through their own RIA.
Advisors licensed with LPL Financial as investment advisory representatives conduct fee-based business on our corporate RIA platform, and advisors licensed with LPL Financial as registered representatives conduct commission-based business on our brokerage platform. In order to be licensed with LPL Financial, advisors must be approved through our assessment process, which includes a review of each advisor’s education, experience and compliance history, among other factors. Approved advisors become registered with LPL Financial and enter into a representative agreement that establishes the duties and responsibilities of each party. Pursuant to the representative agreement, each advisor makes a series of representations, including that the advisor will disclose to all clients and prospective clients that the advisor is acting as LPL Financial’s investment advisory representative or registered representative, that all orders for securities will be placed through LPL Financial, that the advisor will sell only products that LPL Financial has approved and that the advisor will comply with LPL Financial policies and procedures as well as securities rules and regulations. These advisors also agree not to engage in any outside business activity without prior approval from us and not to act in competition with us.
LPL Financial also supports approximately 570 independent RIA firms that conduct their business through separate registered investment advisor firms (“Independent RIAs”) with approximately 6,300 advisors who conduct their advisory business through these separate entities. Independent RIAs operate pursuant to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (the “Advisers Act”), or their respective states’ investment advisory licensing rules. These Independent RIAs engage us for technology, clearing and custody services, as well as access to our investment platforms and business services. Advisors associated with Independent RIAs retain 100% of their advisory fees, and in return, we charge separate fees for custody, trading, administrative and support services. In addition, some financial advisors associated with Independent RIAs are registered representatives of LPL Financial and access our fully-integrated brokerage platform under standard terms.
We believe we are the market leader in the enterprise channel, providing support to over 3,600 financial advisors at approximately 1,100 enterprises nationwide. The core capabilities of these enterprises may not include investment and financial planning services, or they may find the technology, infrastructure and regulatory requirements of supporting such services to be cost-prohibitive. For these enterprises, we provide their financial advisors with the infrastructure and services they need to be successful, allowing the enterprises to focus more attention and capital on their core businesses.
Finally, we provide support to approximately 3,800 additional financial advisors who are affiliated and licensed with insurance companies. These arrangements allow us to provide outsourced customized clearing, advisory platforms and technology solutions that enable the financial advisors at these insurance companies to offer a breadth of services to their client base in an efficient manner.
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Our Value Proposition
We are dedicated to making it easy for advisors to do what is best for their clients. Our scale and self-clearing platform enable us to provide advisors with the capabilities they need, and the service they expect, at a compelling price. We are dedicated to continuously improving the processes, systems and resources we leverage to meet these needs.
We support our advisors by providing front-, middle- and back-office solutions through our distinct value proposition: integrated technology solutions, comprehensive clearing services, compliance services, consultative practice management programs and training, business services and planning and advice services, along with in-house research. The comprehensive and increasingly automated nature of our offering enables our advisors to focus on their clients while successfully and efficiently managing the complexities of running their own practice.
Integrated Technology Solutions
We provide our technology and service to advisors through an integrated technology platform that is cloud-based and web-accessible. Our technology offerings are designed to permit our advisors to effectively manage all critical aspects of their businesses in an efficient manner while remaining responsive to their clients’ needs. We continue to automate time-consuming processes, such as account opening and management, document imaging, transaction execution, and account rebalancing, in an effort to improve our advisors’ efficiency and accuracy.
Comprehensive Clearing Services
We provide custody and clearing services for the majority of our advisors’ transactions and seek to offer a simplified and streamlined advisor experience with expedited processing capabilities. Our self-clearing platform enables us to control client data, more efficiently process and report trades, facilitate platform development, reduce costs and ultimately enhance the service experience for our advisors and their clients.
Compliance Services
We continue to make substantial investments in our compliance function to provide our advisors with a strong framework through which to understand and operate within regulatory guidelines, as well as guidelines that we establish. Protecting the best interests of investors and our advisors is imperative to us. As the financial industry and regulatory environment evolve and become more complex, we have made a long-term commitment to enhancing our risk management and compliance structure, as well as our technology-based compliance and risk management tools, in order to further enhance the overall effectiveness and scalability of our control environment.
Our team of risk and compliance employees assists our advisors through:
training and advising advisors on new products, new regulatory guidelines, compliance and risk management tools, security policies and procedures and best practices;
advising on sales practice activities and facilitating the supervision of activities by branch managers;
conducting technology-enabled surveillance of trading activities and sales practices;
monitoring of registered investment advisory activities for advisors on our corporate RIA platform; and
inspecting branch offices and advising on how to strengthen compliance procedures.
Consultative Practice Management Programs and Training
Our practice management programs are designed to help leaders and financial advisors in independent practices and enterprises enhance and grow their businesses. Our experience gives us the ability to benchmark the best practices of successful advisors and develop customized recommendations to meet the specific needs of an advisor’s business and market, and our scale allows us to dedicate a team of experienced professionals to this effort. Our practice management and training services include:
personalized business consulting that helps eligible advisors and program leadership enhance the value and operational efficiency of their businesses;
advisory and brokerage consulting and financial planning to support advisors in growing their businesses through our broad range of products and fee-based offerings and wealth management services;
marketing strategies, including campaign templates, to enable advisors to build awareness of their services and capitalize on opportunities in their local markets;
our Liquidity & Succession solution to expand the options of advisors seeking to monetize their businesses or free themselves from entrepreneurial burdens through the sale of their practices;
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an advisor loan program for advisors looking to buy another practice;
transition services to help advisors establish independent practices and migrate client accounts to us; and
in-person and virtual training and educational programs on topics including technology, use of advisory platforms and business development.

Business Services and Planning and Advice Services
We provide business services to advisors in areas critical to the operation of their practices, such as marketing, accounting and transaction support. Our business services portfolio includes professional services and business optimizer offerings. Professional services offerings, including CFO Solutions, Marketing Solutions, Admin Solutions, Advisor Institute, Bookkeeping, Partial Book Sales, and CFO Essentials are digital and employee-powered solutions that provide expertise to increase business-level growth and operational efficiency. Business optimizer offerings, including M&A Solutions, Digital Office, Resilience Plans and Assurance Plans, are digital solutions that provide risk mitigation and business continuity services to support practice operations and succession planning.

Our planning and advice services are digital and employee-powered solutions that help advisors and enterprises expand the breadth and depth of their advice in areas such as tax planning, paraplanning and private client support for high-net-worth relationships. The focus of planning and advice services is helping advisors increase marketplace differentiation while limiting additional complexity and risk. We are expanding our portfolio of services to address new advisor needs while also enhancing our existing solutions to deliver an industry-leading customer experience.
In-House Research
We provide our advisors with integrated access to comprehensive research on a broad range of investments. We share market analysis and commentary on macro-economic events, manager research, capital markets assumptions, strategic and tactical asset allocation advice and individual equity guidance. Our research team provides advice that is designed to empower our advisors to better serve their clients, including the creation of discretionary portfolios for which we serve as a portfolio manager, available through our turnkey advisory asset management platforms. We are able to provide objective and unbiased investment research to our advisors and their clients without the conflict of proprietary products or investment banking services.
Our Product and Solution Access
We do not manufacture any financial products. Instead, we provide our advisors with curated access to a broad range of commission, fee-based, cash and money market products and services. The sales and administration of these products are facilitated through our technology solutions, which allow our advisors to access client accounts, product information, asset allocation models, investment recommendations and economic insight, as well as to perform trade execution.
Fee-Based Platforms and Support
We have various fee-based platforms that provide centrally managed or customized solutions from which advisors can choose to meet the investment needs of their clients, including wrap-fee programs, mutual fund asset allocation programs, an advisor-enhanced digital advice program, advisory programs offered by third-party investment advisor firms, financial planning services and retirement plan consulting services. The fee structure of our platforms enables our advisors to provide their clients with higher levels of service while establishing a recurring revenue stream for the advisor and for us. Our fee-based platforms provide access to mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, stocks, bonds, certain options strategies, unit investment trusts, institutional money managers and no-load multi-manager variable annuities. As of December 31, 2023, the total advisory assets under custody in these platforms, through both our corporate RIA and Independent RIA advisory platforms, were $735.8 billion.
Commission-Based Products
Commission-based products include those for which we and our advisors receive an upfront commission and, for certain products, a trailing commission. Our brokerage offerings include variable and fixed annuities, mutual funds, equities, fixed income, alternative investments, retirement and 529 education savings plans and insurance. We regularly review the structure and fees of our commission-based products in the context of retail investor preferences and the changing regulatory environment, as well as the competitive landscape. As of December 31, 2023, the total brokerage assets in commission-based products were $618.2 billion.
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Client Cash Programs
Our client cash programs include two Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) insured bank sweep vehicles, a client cash account and a money market account, which enable our advisors to manage their clients’ cash balances. As of December 31, 2023, the total assets in our client cash programs, which are held within advisory and brokerage accounts, were $48.5 billion.
Other Services
We provide a number of additional tools and services that enable advisors to maintain and grow their practices. Through our subsidiary PTC, we provide custodial services to trusts for estates and families. Under our model, an advisor may provide a trust with investment management services, while administrative services for the trust are provided by PTC. We also offer retirement solutions for commission- and fee-based services that allow advisors to provide brokerage services, consultation and advice to retirement plan sponsors using LPL Financial. We offer proposal generation, investment analytics and portfolio modeling capabilities to both our advisors and external clients in the wealth management industry and provide an advisor-facing trading and portfolio rebalancing platform.
Our Financial Model
Our overall financial performance is a function of the following:
Our revenue stems from diverse sources, including advisor-generated advisory fees and commission revenue, as well as other asset-based fees from product sponsors, recordkeeping, networking services, client cash balances, service and fee revenue, transaction revenue and revenue for other ancillary services that we provide. Revenue is not concentrated by advisor, product or geography. For the year ended December 31, 2023, no single relationship with our independent advisor practices or enterprises accounted for more than 2% of our advisory and commission revenue, and no single advisor accounted for more than 1% of our advisory and commission revenue.
The largest variable component of our expense, advisor payout percentages, is directly linked to revenue generated by our advisors.
A portion of our revenue is not asset-based or correlated with the equity financial markets. Service and fee revenue is generated from advisor and retail investor services, including insurance, licensing, business services and planning and advice services, IRA custodian and other client account fees. Service and fee revenue from business services is based on recurring subscription fees. We charge separate fees to RIAs for technology, clearing, administrative, oversight and custody services, which may vary. In addition, we host certain advisor conferences that serve as training, education, sales and marketing events for which we charge sponsors a fee.
Our operating model is scalable and is capable of delivering expanding profit margins over time.
We have managed our capital allocation framework and expenditures such that we have been able to both invest in our business and return capital to stockholders.
Our Competitive Strengths
Market Leadership Position and Scale
We are the established leader in the independent advisor market, which is our core business focus. We use our scale and position as an industry leader to champion the independent business model and the rights of our advisors and their clients. Our scale enables us to benefit from the following dynamics:
Continual ReinvestmentWe actively reinvest in our comprehensive technology platform and practice management support, which further improves the productivity of our advisors.
Economies of ScaleAs one of the largest distributors of financial products in the U.S., we have been able to obtain attractive economics from product sponsors.
Payout Rates to AdvisorsAs one of the largest U.S. broker-dealers by number of advisors, we believe that we offer our advisors the highest average payout rates in our industry.
The combination of our ability to reinvest in our business and maintain highly competitive payout rates has enabled us to attract and retain advisors. This, in turn, has driven our growth and led to a continuous cycle of reinvestment that reinforces our established scale advantage.
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Comprehensive Solutions
We differentiate through the combination of our capabilities across research, technology, risk management and practice management. We make meaningful investments to support the growth, productivity and efficiency of advisors across a broad spectrum of models as their practices evolve. Our focus is working alongside advisors to navigate complex environments in order to create the best outcomes for their clients.
We believe we offer a compelling value proposition to independent financial advisors and enterprises. This value proposition is built upon the delivery of our services through our scale, independence, and integrated technology, the sum of which we believe is not replicated in the industry. As a result, we believe that we do not have any direct competitors that offer our business model at the scale at which we offer it. For example, because we do not have any proprietary manufactured financial products, we do not view firms that manufacture asset management products and other financial products as direct competitors.
We provide comprehensive solutions to enterprises, such as regional banks, credit unions and insurance companies, that seek to provide a broad array of services for their clients. We believe many enterprises find the technology, infrastructure and regulatory requirements associated with delivering financial advice to be cost-prohibitive. The solutions we provide enable financial advisors at these enterprises to deliver their services on a cost-effective basis.
Flexibility of Our Business Model
Our business model allows our advisors the freedom to choose how they conduct their business, subject to certain regulatory parameters, which has helped us attract and retain advisors from multiple channels, including wirehouses, regional broker-dealers, banks, other RIAs and other independent broker-dealers. Our platform can accommodate a variety of independent advisor business models, including financial advisors as independent contractors, employee advisors and Independent RIAs. The flexibility of our business model enables our advisors to select their preferred affiliation model and product mix as their business evolves and preferences change within the market or their client base all within an environment that allows for evolution with minimal interruption to their business and their clients.
In addition, our business model provides advisors with a multitude of customizable service and technology offerings that allow them to increase their efficiency, focus on their clients and grow their practice. For example, LPL Services Group provides business support to advisors in areas critical to the operation of their practices, such as marketing, accounting and transaction support.
Our Sources of Growth
Increasing Productivity of Existing Advisor Base
We believe the productivity of our advisors has the potential to increase over time as we continue to develop solutions designed to enable them to add new clients, manage more of their clients’ investable assets and expand their existing practices with additional advisors. We expect to facilitate these productivity improvements by helping our advisors better manage their practices in an increasingly complex external environment, which we believe has the potential to result in the assets per advisor growing over time. Business services and planning and advice services are a source of organic growth as a larger share of advisors adopts these service solutions.
Attracting New Assets to Our Platform
We intend to grow the assets served by our platform across traditional markets and through new affiliation models. Ongoing investment in and enhancements to our platform and support teams have led to an expanded pipeline. We have also experienced momentum from a continued expansion of our advisor affiliation models, which has attracted prospects from new sources. Finally, we have opened up a new market with our newest enterprise affiliation model resulting in strategic relationships with M&T Bank Corporation, BMO Harris Financial Advisors, CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc., People’s United Bank, Bancwest Investment Services and Commerce Financial Advisors. Most recently, we announced an agreement with Prudential to transition the brokerage and investment advisory assets of Prudential Advisors, Prudential’s retail wealth management business, from its current third-party custodian to the Company’s Institution Services platform in the second half of 2024, subject to receipt of regulatory approval and other conditions. Related investments in our enterprise platform have generated interest from new enterprise clients.

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Competition
We compete with a variety of financial firms to attract and retain experienced and productive advisors. These financial firms operate in various channels and markets:
Within the independent broker-dealer channel, the industry is highly fragmented and consists primarily of regional firms that rely on third-party custodians and technology providers to support their operations.
Wirehouses tend to consist of large nationwide firms with multiple lines of business that have a focus on the highly competitive high-net-worth investor market.
Competition for advisors also includes regional firms that primarily focus on specific client niches or geographic areas.
Independent RIA firms, which are registered with the SEC or through their respective states’ investment advisory regulator and not through a broker-dealer, may choose from a number of third-party firms to provide custodial services.
Our advisors compete for clients with financial advisors of brokerage firms, banks, insurance companies, asset management and investment advisory firms. In addition, they also compete with a number of firms offering direct-to-investor online financial services and discount brokerage services.
Human Capital
Our success depends on our ability to attract, hire, retain and develop highly-skilled professionals in a variety of specialties, including finance, technology, compliance, business development, cybersecurity and management.
Workforce
As of December 31, 2023, we had approximately 8,400 full-time employees, all of whom are located in the U.S. Approximately 49% of our employees self-identify as women and 40% self-identify as Black, Indigenous or People of Color.
Talent Management and Culture
Due to the complexity of our business, we compete with other companies for top talent, both inside and outside of our industry, and in multiple geographical areas within the United States. Our Human Capital efforts focus on further developing our culture of service in concert with our mission statement: We take care of our advisors so they can take care of their clients. To that end, we seek employees who are committed to excellence, integrity and living our values. Our employees are one team on one mission: to seek, embrace and apply feedback, stop and consider the big picture, and deliver results for our advisors and their clients.
Compensation and Benefits
To maintain a high-caliber, values-driven workforce that is committed to our culture, we strive to offer total rewards, including compensation, benefits and recognition programs that position our company as an employer of choice. Our compensation is designed to be performance based and competitive in the markets in which we compete. We closely monitor industry trends and practices to ensure we are able to attract and retain the personnel who are critical to our success. We also monitor internal pay equity to help ensure that our compensation practices are fair and equitable across our organization. Our Company’s senior leaders have an opportunity to receive a portion of their compensation in Company equity, and, subject to a cap, we match the contributions of all of our employees to our retirement savings plan to help support their long-term financial goals. We also offer an employee stock purchase plan that enables eligible employees to acquire an ownership interest in our Company at a discount to prevailing market prices.
We offer an array of benefits intended to meet the diverse needs of our employees and their eligible dependents. From healthcare to holidays, our aim is to help our employees enjoy happy and healthy lifestyles while maintaining work-life balance. We offer comprehensive benefits to all full-time employees and part-time employees working at least 30 hours per week, which equates to over 99% of our workforce. Our health and welfare benefits include, among other things: medical coverage; dental and vision coverage; healthcare and dependent-care flexible spending accounts; Health Savings Accounts; accident and critical illness coverage; life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance; short-term and long-term disability insurance; and the LPL Live Well employee wellbeing program, which supports employees and their family members in their wellness journeys as well as offering targeted and focused programming for mental health, Type 2 Diabetes care and maternity management.

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Recruiting
As a Fortune 500 company focused on innovation and growth, talent drives the success of our company. Therefore, we are focused on attracting and retaining our employees. To reach a diverse pool of talent, we are continually in the market and take a multi-faceted approach to recruiting in pursuit of diverse, entrepreneurial and dedicated team members. By expanding our reach and sourcing efforts and implementing diverse recruitment methods, we seek to create a workforce representative of the communities and partners we serve.
We continue to invest in talent recruitment channels to introduce emerging talent to the opportunities within wealth management and financial services. As part of our university recruitment strategy, we have expanded partnerships with colleges and universities in the local communities we serve and beyond. We continuously seek ways to collaborate with students, faculty and diverse campus organizations to increase exposure and opportunities for students. LEAP, our Leadership Excellence and Achievement Program, encompasses the Company’s emerging talent initiatives and offers internship, part time and full time opportunities to develop the next generation of leaders.
Training and Development
We believe in our employees’ potential and provide training and development opportunities intended to maximize their performance and professional growth. To ensure that new employees integrate into our culture and their daily work, we provide a robust new-hire experience, as well as extensive ongoing training for existing employees to acquaint them with our business. We require all of our employees to complete courses in key regulatory areas, such as insider trading and anti-money laundering compliance, and we offer professional development opportunities through training sessions, on-demand learning and cross-departmental workshops, resulting in over 170,000 completed courses and workshops and approximately 200,000 development hours for our employees. In addition, we have mentorship programs that pair employees with more experienced professionals, giving mentees access to experience, expertise, and guidance. To help employees determine the next steps in their careers, we continue to provide a Career Growth Portal that provides employees with tools, resources, training courses and assessments as they chart their career paths. Lastly, we have created skills cards with curated content targeting key skills and desired capabilities to help employees develop.
Employee Safety
We aim to provide a safe, inclusive environment for our employees where they feel engaged in our business, supported in who they are and empowered to succeed. We are committed to providing a workplace that is free from violence, harassment and other unsafe or disruptive conditions and require our personnel to attend regular training sessions and workshops on those topics.
To promote health and safety in our workplace, we have an environment, health and safety function that partners with others across the organization to support compliance with applicable workplace health and safety requirements. We also have a cross-functional team, with members who have been trained to conduct threat assessments to support workplace violence prevention. We provide leaves of absence and workplace accommodations, and we provide employees with the flexibility to support their individual circumstances, where possible. In addition, the LPL Financial Foundation continues to support the LPL Care Fund, an employee-to-employee relief fund created to help employees facing unexpected and unavoidable financial hardships as a result of a natural disaster or epidemic by providing tax-free grants.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Our diversity, equity and inclusion (“DEI”) efforts are overseen by our chief executive officer, chief human capital officer and chief diversity officer. In 2023, the management committee received quarterly updates on DEI-related issues. Our Board of Directors, its compensation and human resources committee and its nominating and governance committee, which oversees our environmental, social and governance program, also received multiple updates on our progress in this area.
At LPL, we believe that well-being is more than just physical safety and that our employees should feel welcome and supported as who they are. We seek to foster a culture of inclusivity. Our employee-led resource groups give voice to the needs, concerns and experiences of various diverse groups so that our leaders can ensure that all employees, regardless of background, are valued, respected and fully supported.
Continuous improvement is a pillar of our culture, and we regularly solicit employee feedback on the effectiveness and quality of our programs, including our diversity and inclusion programs, and their level of engagement with our business. We use this feedback to improve our programs and processes and inform decisions about our business.
In furtherance of our commitment to cultivating diversity of thought and ideas within the organization, we sponsor and encourage all of our team members to participate in Employee Resource Groups to leverage the individual
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talents and share the perspectives and experiences of our employees across all demographics. These include, but are not limited to, groups open to all employees focusing on the experience of individuals who identify as African-American, Asian-American and Pacific Islander, Hispanic, LGBTQ, Veterans, Women, People with Disabilities and Working Parents.
Finally, our professional development and recruitment efforts include targeted outreach to and collaborations with organizations that serve historically underserved and underrepresented populations. We closely monitor employee turnover across a variety of dimensions to evaluate our effectiveness in retaining personnel. In addition, our DEI talent attraction efforts are centered on strengthening relationships with community partners, particularly historically Black colleges and universities. Our goal has been to broaden the pool of talented applicants to include groups historically underrepresented so that we can truly reach the best candidates, and our efforts towards this goal helped create a 2023 class of interns with significant representation by people identifying as a woman and/or as Black, Indigenous or a Person of Color.
Regulation
The financial services industry is subject to extensive regulation by U.S. federal, state and international government agencies as well as various self-regulatory organizations. We seek to participate in the development of significant rules and regulations that govern our industry. We have been investing in our compliance functions to monitor our adherence to the numerous legal and regulatory requirements applicable to our business. Compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, only some of which are described below, involves a significant investment in time and resources. Any new laws or regulations applicable to our business, any changes to existing laws or regulations, or any changes to the interpretations or enforcement of those laws or regulations may affect our operations and/or financial condition.
Broker-Dealer Regulation
LPL Financial is a clearing broker-dealer registered with the SEC, a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) and a participant in various clearing organizations including the Depository Trust Company, the National Securities Clearing Corporation and the Options Clearing Corporation. LPL Financial is registered as a broker-dealer in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The rules of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, which are enforced by the SEC and FINRA, apply to the municipal securities activities of LPL Financial. LPL Financial is registered as an introducing broker-dealer with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) and is a member of the National Futures Association (“NFA”). LPL Financial is regulated by the SEC, FINRA, CFTC and NFA.
Broker-dealers are subject to rules and regulations covering all aspects of the securities business, including sales and trading practices, public offerings, publication of research reports, use and safekeeping of clients’ funds and securities, capital adequacy, recordkeeping and reporting, the conduct of directors, officers and employees, qualification and licensing of supervisory and sales personnel, marketing practices, supervisory and organizational procedures intended to ensure compliance with securities laws and to prevent improper trading on material nonpublic information, limitations on extensions of credit in securities transactions, clearance and settlement procedures, anti-money laundering, cybersecurity, credit risk management and rules designed to promote high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade. Broker-dealers are also subject to state securities laws and regulated by state securities administrators in those jurisdictions where they do business. Applicable laws, rules and regulations may be subject to varying interpretations and change from time to time.
Regulators make periodic examinations and inquiries of us and review annual, monthly and other reports on our operations and financial condition. Regulatory actions brought against us alleging violations of applicable laws, rules and regulations could result in censures, penalties and fines, settlements, disgorgement of profits, restitution to customers, remediation or the issuance of cease-and-desist orders. Such actions could also result in the restriction, suspension or expulsion from the securities industry of us or our financial advisors, officers or employees. We also may incur substantial expenses, damage to our reputation or similar adverse consequences in connection with any such actions by the SEC, FINRA, CFTC, NFA, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) or state securities regulators, regardless of the outcome.
LPL Financial’s margin lending is regulated by the Federal Reserve Board’s restrictions on lending in connection with client purchases and short sales of securities, and FINRA rules also require LPL Financial to impose maintenance requirements based on the value of securities contained in margin accounts. In many cases, our margin policies are more stringent than these rules.
LPL Financial's recommendations to retail customers are subject to a standard of conduct specified by the SEC (“Reg BI”). Reg BI requires that, when making recommendations, broker-dealers act in the best interest of retail
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customers without placing their own financial or other interests ahead of the customer’s and imposes obligations related to disclosure, duty of care, conflicts of interest and compliance. Certain state securities and insurance regulators have also adopted, proposed or are considering adopting similar laws and regulations. In addition, the DOL has proposed a “Retirement Security Rule” that would broaden the definition of fiduciary advice and modify the prohibited transaction exemptions in effect as of the date of this Annual Report that enable investment advice fiduciaries to receive compensation on transactions as a result of fiduciary recommendations to a plan covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”), IRA or other account covered by Section 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). Compliance with proposed conduct standards could increase the complexity and costs of our compliance or affect our revenue streams, including, in the case of the DOL proposal, our ability to rely on the current prohibited transaction exemptions. Moreover, to the extent new rules or regulations affect the operations, financial condition, liquidity and capital requirements of financial institutions with which we do business, those institutions may seek to pass on increased costs, reduce their capacity to transact, or otherwise present inefficiencies in their interactions with us. As industry compliance practices and regulatory approaches to guidance, examinations and enforcement continue to develop, the ultimate impact that these new rules or regulations will have on us, the financial industry and the economy cannot be known at this time. It is unclear how and whether other regulators, including banking regulators, and state securities and insurance regulators, may respond to or attempt to enforce similar issues addressed by Reg BI and the DOL.
Investment Adviser Regulation
As an investment adviser registered with the SEC, our subsidiary LPL Financial is subject to the requirements of the Advisers Act, and the regulations promulgated thereunder, including examination by the SEC’s staff. Such requirements relate to, among other things, fiduciary duties to clients, maintaining an effective compliance program, conflicts of interest, advertising, limitations on agency cross and principal transactions between the advisor and advisory clients, recordkeeping and reporting requirements, disclosure requirements and general anti-fraud provisions.
The SEC is authorized to institute proceedings and impose sanctions for violations of the Advisers Act and associated regulations. Investment advisers also are subject to certain state securities laws and regulations. Failure to comply with the Advisers Act or other federal and state securities laws and regulations could result in investigations, censures, penalties and fines, settlements, disgorgement of profits, restitution to customers, remediation, the issuance of cease-and-desist orders or the termination of an investment adviser’s registration. We also may incur substantial expenses, damage to our reputation or similar adverse consequences in connection with such actions, regardless of the outcome.
Retirement Plan Services Regulation
Certain subsidiaries, including LPL Financial, LPL Employee Services, LLC, PTC, Fiduciary Trust Company of New Hampshire and LPLIA, are subject to ERISA, Section 4975 of the Code, and to regulations promulgated under ERISA or the Code, insofar as the subsidiaries provide services with respect to plan clients, or otherwise deal with plan clients, plan participants and retirement, health and educational accounts that are subject to ERISA or Section 4975 of the Code. ERISA imposes certain duties on persons who are “fiduciaries” (as defined in Section 3(21) of ERISA) and prohibits certain transactions involving plans subject to ERISA and fiduciaries or other service providers to such plans. Non-compliance with or breaches of these provisions may expose an ERISA fiduciary or other service provider to liability under ERISA, which may include monetary and criminal penalties as well as equitable remedies for the affected plan. Section 4975 of the Code prohibits certain transactions involving “plans” (as defined in Section 4975(e)(1), which include, for example, IRAs and certain Keogh plans) and service providers, including fiduciaries (as defined in Section 4975(e)(3)), to such plans. Section 4975 imposes excise taxes for violations of these prohibitions.
The DOL has a “five-part test” defining fiduciary “investment advice” under ERISA and the Code (the “Five-Part Test”). Under this test, providing non-discretionary investment advice or recommendations with respect to a covered account can cause a person to be a fiduciary under ERISA and/or the Code if the advice is provided for a fee, on a regular basis, and subject to a mutual understanding that the advice will be personalized to the needs of the advice recipient and used as a primary basis for an investment decision. In addition, the DOL has proposed a “Retirement Security Rule” that would modify the Five-Part Test to broaden the definition of fiduciary advice and the prohibited transaction exemptions in effect as of the date of this Annual Report.
The DOL’s prohibited transaction exemption 2020-03 (“PTE 2020-02”) provides broad exemptive relief for receiving variable or transaction-based compensation, and certain other “prohibited transactions,” in connection with fiduciary investment advice to investors using covered accounts if certain conditions are met. The preamble to this exemption also included the DOL’s new and expanded interpretation of when providing a rollover recommendation (or potentially other recommendations) could result in fiduciary status under the historic Five-Part Test. This new
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interpretation, as well as other guidance issued by the DOL in connection with this interpretation, has been the subject of multiple litigations in federal district courts challenging the DOL’s authority to issue it. On February 13, 2023, a federal court issued a decision that invalidated, in part, the DOL’s interpretation of who qualifies as a fiduciary under ERISA in providing a rollover recommendation. We operate our business in compliance with a number of DOL prohibited transaction exemptions, including PTE 2020-02, where applicable. However, as industry compliance practices and regulatory approaches to guidance, examinations and enforcement continue to develop, and the outcomes of litigation remain pending, the ultimate impact that these new rules or regulations will have on us, the financial industry and the economy cannot be known at this time. In addition, it is unclear how and whether the DOL and other regulators, including the SEC, FINRA, banking regulators, and the state securities and insurance regulators may respond to or enforce elements of the Five-Part Test and PTE 2020-02 rules or interpretations.
The DOL also proposed amendments to the definition of “fiduciary” under ERISA and the Code and certain of its existing prohibited transaction exemptions, which we expect, if completed, to result in increased legal, compliance, information technology and other costs and could lead to a greater risk of client lawsuits and enforcement activity by the DOL and other regulators. The effect of any future DOL regulations and changes on our retirement plan business cannot be anticipated or planned for but may have further impacts on our products and services and results of operations.
Trust Regulation
Through our subsidiary, PTC, we offer trust, investment management oversight and custodial services for estates and families. PTC is chartered as a non-depository national banking association. As a limited purpose national bank, PTC is regulated and regularly examined by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”). PTC files reports with the OCC within 30 days after the conclusion of each calendar quarter. Because the powers of PTC are limited to providing fiduciary services and investment advice, it does not have the power or authority to accept deposits or make loans. For this reason, trust assets under PTC’s management are not insured by the FDIC.
Because of its limited purpose, PTC is not a “bank” as defined under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956. Consequently, neither its immediate parent, PTC Holdings, Inc., nor its ultimate parent, LPLFH, is regulated by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System as a bank holding company. However, PTC is subject to regulation by the OCC and to various laws and regulations enforced by the OCC, such as capital adequacy, change of control restrictions and regulations governing fiduciary duties, conflicts of interest, self-dealing and anti-money laundering. For example, the Change in Bank Control Act of 1978, as implemented by OCC supervisory policy, imposes restrictions on parties who wish to acquire a controlling interest in a limited purpose national bank such as PTC or the holding company of a limited purpose national bank such as LPLFH. In general, an acquisition of 10% or more of our common stock, or another acquisition of “control” as defined in OCC regulations, may require OCC approval. These laws and regulations are designed to serve specific bank regulatory and supervisory purposes and are not meant for the protection of PTC, PTC Holdings, Inc., LPLFH or their stockholders.
Regulatory Capital Requirements
The SEC, FINRA, CFTC and NFA have stringent rules and regulations with respect to the maintenance of specific levels of net capital by regulated entities. The net capital rule under the Exchange Act requires a broker-dealer to maintain a minimum net capital and applies certain discounts to the value of its assets based on the liquidity of such assets. LPL Financial is also subject to the NFA’s financial requirements and is required to maintain net capital that is in excess of or equal to the greatest of the NFA’s minimum financial requirements. Under these requirements, LPL Financial is currently required to maintain minimum net capital that is in excess of or equal to the minimum net capital calculated and required pursuant to the Exchange Act’s net capital rule.
The SEC, FINRA, CFTC and NFA impose rules that require notification when net capital falls below certain predefined criteria. These broker-dealer capital rules also dictate the ratio of debt to equity in regulatory capital composition and constrain the ability of a broker-dealer to expand its business under certain circumstances. If a broker-dealer fails to maintain the required net capital, then certain notice requirements to the regulators are required, and the broker-dealer may be subject to suspension or revocation of registration by the applicable regulatory agency, and suspension or expulsion by these regulators ultimately could lead to the broker-dealer’s liquidation. Additionally, the net capital rule and certain FINRA rules impose requirements that may have the effect of prohibiting a broker-dealer from distributing or withdrawing capital and require prior notice to the SEC and FINRA for certain capital withdrawals. LPL Financial, which is subject to net capital rules, has been and currently is in compliance with those rules and has net capital in excess of the minimum requirements.
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Anti-Money Laundering and Sanctions Compliance
The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, which amended the Bank Secrecy Act, contains anti-money laundering and financial transparency laws and mandates the implementation of various regulations applicable to broker-dealers, futures commission merchants and other financial services companies. Financial institutions subject to these requirements generally must have an anti-money laundering program in place, which includes monitoring for and reporting suspicious activity, implementing specialized employee training programs, designating an anti-money laundering compliance officer and annually conducting an independent test of the effectiveness of its program. In addition, sanctions administered by the United States Office of Foreign Asset Control prohibit U.S. persons from doing business with blocked persons and entities or certain sanctioned countries. We have established policies, procedures and systems designed to comply with these regulations and work continuously to improve and strengthen our regulatory compliance mechanisms.
Security and Privacy
Regulatory activity in the areas of privacy and data protection continues to grow worldwide and is generally being driven by the growth of technology and related concerns about the rapid and widespread dissemination and use of information and general concerns about the security of that information. To the extent they are applicable to us, we must comply with federal and state information-related laws and regulations in the United States, including the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, SEC Regulation S-P, the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970, as amended, and Regulation S-ID, as well as the California Consumer Privacy Act and further potential federal and state requirements.
Trademarks
Access Overlay®, BlazePortfolio®, BranchNet®, CLIENTWORKS®, Fortigent®, LPL®, LPL Career Match®, LPL Financial (& Design)®, Manager Access Network®, Manager Access Select®, OMP® and SPONSORWORKS® are our registered trademarks, and ADVISORYWORLD, CLIENTWORKS CONNECTED, ALLEN & COMPANY OF FLORIDA, LLC, and THE PRIVATE TRUST COMPANY, N.A. (& Design) are among our service marks.
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Item 1A.  Risk Factors
Risk Factor Summary
Our business, operations and financial results are subject to varying degrees of risk and uncertainty. We are providing the following summary of risk factors to enhance readability of our risk factor disclosure. Material risks that may adversely affect our business, operations and financial results include, but are not limited to, the following:
Risks Related to Our Business and Industry
We depend on our ability to attract and retain experienced and productive advisors, and we are subject to competition in all aspects of our business.
Our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected by market fluctuations and other economic factors.
Significant interest rate changes could affect our profitability and financial condition.
Any damage to our reputation could harm our business and lead to a loss of revenue and net income.
Our business is subject to risks related to litigation, arbitration claims and regulatory actions.
There are risks inherent in the independent broker-dealer business model.
We rely on third-party service providers, including off-shore providers, to perform technology, processing and support functions, and our operations are dependent on financial intermediaries that we do not control.
Lack of liquidity or access to capital could impair our business and financial condition.
Our business could be materially adversely affected as a result of the risks associated with acquisitions, investments, and strategic relationships.
Our risk management policies and procedures may not be fully effective in mitigating our risk exposure in all market environments or against all types of risks.
We face competition in attracting and retaining key talent.
The securities settlement process exposes us to risks related to adverse movements in price.
Our indebtedness could adversely affect our financial condition and may limit our ability to use debt to fund future capital needs.
Restrictions under our Credit Agreement may prevent us from taking actions that we believe would be in the best interest of our business.
Provisions of our Credit Agreement and certain of the Indentures could discourage an acquisition of us by a third-party.
Our insurance coverage may be expensive and we may exceed our limits of insurance coverage.
Poor service or performance of the financial products that we offer or competitive pressures on pricing of such services or products may cause clients of our advisors to withdraw their assets on short notice.
A loss of our marketing relationships with manufacturers of financial products could harm our relationship with our advisors and, in turn, their clients.
Changes in U.S. federal income tax law could make some of the products distributed by our advisors less attractive to clients.
Risks Related to Our Regulatory Environment
Any failure to comply with applicable federal or state laws or regulations, or self-regulatory organization rules, exposes us to litigation and regulatory actions, which could increase our costs or negatively affect our reputation.
Regulatory developments could adversely affect our business by increasing our costs or making our business less profitable.
We are subject to various regulatory requirements, which, if not complied with, could result in the restriction of the conduct or growth of our business.
Failure to comply with ERISA regulations and certain tax-qualified plan laws and regulations could result in penalties against us.
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Risks Related to Our Technology
We rely on technology in our business, and technology and execution failures could subject us to losses, litigation and regulatory actions.
Our information technology systems may be vulnerable to security risks.
A cyber-attack or other security breach of our technology systems or those of our advisors or third-party vendors could negatively impact our normal operations and, as a result, subject us to significant liability and harm our reputation.
Failure to comply with the complex privacy and data protection laws and regulations to which we are subject could result in adverse action from regulators and adversely affect our business, reputation, results of operations and financial condition.
Failure to maintain technological capabilities, flaws in existing technology, difficulties in upgrading our technology platform or the introduction of a competitive platform could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Inadequacy or disruption of our business continuity and disaster recovery plans and procedures in the event of a catastrophe could adversely affect our business.
Risks Related to Ownership of Our Common Stock
The price of our common stock may be volatile and fluctuate substantially, which could result in substantial losses for our investors.
We are a holding company and rely on dividends, distributions and other payments, advances and transfers of funds from our subsidiaries to meet our debt service and other obligations.
Our future ability to pay regular dividends to holders of our common stock or repurchase shares are subject to the discretion of our Board and will be limited by our ability to generate sufficient earnings and cash flows.
Risks Related to Our Business and Industry
We depend on our ability to attract and retain experienced and productive advisors, and we are subject to competition in all aspects of our business.
We derive a large portion of our revenue from commissions and fees generated by our advisors. Our ability to attract and retain experienced and productive advisors has contributed significantly to our growth and success, and our strategic plan is premised upon continued growth in the number of our advisors and the assets they serve. If we fail to attract new advisors or to retain and motivate our current advisors, replace our advisors who retire, or assist our retiring advisors with transitioning their practices to other advisors on our platform, or if advisor migration away from wirehouses to independent channels slows, our business may suffer.
The market for experienced and productive advisors is highly competitive, and we devote significant resources to attracting and retaining well-qualified advisors. In attracting and retaining advisors, we compete directly with a variety of financial institutions such as wirehouses, regional broker-dealers, banks, insurance companies, other independent broker-dealers and RIA firms. If we are not successful in retaining highly qualified advisors, we may not be able to recover the expense involved in attracting and training these individuals. There can be no assurance that we will be successful in our efforts to attract and retain the advisors needed to achieve our growth objectives.
More broadly, we are subject to competition in all aspects of our business from:
brokerage and investment advisory firms, including national and regional firms, as well as Independent RIAs;
asset management firms;
commercial banks and thrift institutions;
insurance companies;
other clearing/custodial technology companies; and
investment firms offering so-called “robo” advice solutions.
Many of our competitors have substantially greater resources than we do and may offer a broader range of services and financial products across more markets. Some of our competitors operate in a different regulatory environment than we do, which may give them certain competitive advantages in the services they offer. For example, certain of our competitors only provide clearing services and consequently would not have any supervision or oversight
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liability relating to actions of their financial advisors. We believe that competition within our industry will intensify as a result of consolidation and acquisition activity and because new competitors face few barriers to entry, which could adversely affect our ability to recruit new advisors and retain existing advisors.
If we fail to continue to attract highly qualified advisors, or if advisors licensed with us leave us to pursue other opportunities, we could face a significant decline in market share, commission and fee revenue or net income. We could face similar consequences if current or potential clients of ours, including current clients that use our outsourced customized clearing, advisory platforms or technology solutions, decide to use one of our competitors rather than us. If we are required to increase our payout of commissions and fees to our advisors in order to remain competitive, our net income could be significantly reduced.
Our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected by market fluctuations and other economic factors.
Significant downturns and volatility in equity and other financial markets have had and could continue to have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.
General economic and market factors can affect our commission and fee revenue. For example, a decrease in market levels or market volatility can:
reduce new investments by advisors’ new and existing clients in financial products that are linked to the equity markets, such as variable life insurance, variable annuities, mutual funds and managed accounts;
reduce trading activity, thereby affecting our brokerage commission revenue and our transaction revenue;
reduce the value of advisory and brokerage assets, thereby reducing advisory fee revenue, trailing commission revenue and asset-based fee revenue; and
motivate clients to withdraw funds from their accounts, thereby reducing advisory and brokerage assets, advisory fee revenue and asset-based fee revenue.
Other more specific trends may also affect our financial condition and results of operations, including, for example, changes in the mix of products preferred by investors may result in increases or decreases in our fee revenue associated with such products depending on whether investors gravitate towards or away from such products. The timing of such trends, if any, and their potential impact on our financial condition and results of operations are beyond our control.
In addition, because certain of our expenses are fixed, our ability to reduce them in response to market factors over short periods of time is limited, which could negatively impact our profitability.
Significant interest rate changes could affect our profitability and financial condition.
Our revenue is exposed to interest rate risk primarily from changes in fees payable to us from banks participating in our client cash programs and changes in interest income earned on deposits in third-party bank accounts and short-term U.S. treasury bills, which are generally based on prevailing interest rates.
Our revenue from our client cash programs has declined in the past as a result of a low interest rate environment, and our revenue may decline in the future due to decreases in interest rates, decreases in client cash balances or mix shifts among the current or future deposit sweep vehicles, client cash account or money market accounts that we offer. Though the Federal Reserve increased its target federal funds rate in 2022 to combat rising inflation, there is no guarantee of further increases, or that the higher interest rate environment will be sustained. If the Federal Reserve reduces its target federal funds rate from current levels, our revenue will be impacted.
Our revenue from our client cash programs also depends on our success in placing deposits and negotiating favorable terms in agreements with third-party banks and money market fund providers participating in our programs, as well as our success in offering competitive products, program fees and interest rates payable to clients. The expiration of contracts with favorable pricing terms, less favorable terms in future contracts, the inability to place deposits with third-party sweep banks, or changes in client cash or money market accounts that we offer could result in declines in our revenue.
A sustained low interest rate environment may also have a negative impact upon our ability to negotiate contracts with new banks or renegotiate existing contracts on comparable terms with banks participating in our client cash programs. Even in a rising interest rate environment, if balances or yields in our client cash programs decrease, future revenue from our client cash programs may be lower than expected.

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Any damage to our reputation could harm our business and lead to a loss of revenue and net income.
We have spent many years developing our reputation for integrity and client service, which is built upon our support for our advisors through: enabling technology, comprehensive clearing and compliance services, practice management programs and training and in-house research. Our ability to attract and retain advisors and employees is highly dependent upon external perceptions of our level of service, business practices and financial condition. Damage to our reputation could cause significant harm to our business and prospects and may arise from numerous sources, including:
litigation or regulatory actions;
failing to deliver acceptable standards of service and quality, including technology or cybersecurity failures;
compliance failures; and
unethical behavior and the misconduct of employees, advisors or counterparties.
Negative perceptions or publicity regarding these matters could damage our reputation among existing and potential advisors and employees, and could lead advisors to terminate their agreements with us, which they generally have the right to do unilaterally upon short notice. Adverse developments with respect to our industry may also, by association, negatively impact our reputation or result in greater regulatory or legislative scrutiny or litigation against us. These occurrences could lead to loss of revenue and lower net income.
Our business is subject to risks related to litigation, arbitration claims and regulatory actions.
From time to time, we have been subjected to and are currently subject to legal and regulatory proceedings arising out of our business operations, including lawsuits, arbitration claims, governmental subpoenas and regulatory, governmental and self-regulatory organization (“SRO”) inquiries, investigations and enforcement proceedings, as well as other actions and claims. Many of our legal claims are initiated by clients of our advisors and involve the purchase or sale of investment securities, but other claims and proceedings may be, and have been, initiated by state-level and federal regulatory authorities and SROs, including the SEC, FINRA and state securities regulators, as well as clients of Independent RIAs.
The outcomes of any such legal or regulatory proceedings, including litigations, arbitrations, inquiries, investigations and enforcement proceedings by the SEC, FINRA, DOL and state securities regulators or attorneys general, are difficult to predict. A negative outcome in such a matter could result in substantial legal liability, censures, penalties and fines, disgorgement of profits, restitution to customers, remediation, the issuance of cease-and-desist orders, or injunctive or other equitable relief against us. Further, such negative outcomes individually or in the aggregate may cause us significant reputational harm and could have a material adverse effect on our ability to recruit or retain financial advisors or institutions, or our results of operations, cash flows or financial condition.
We may face liabilities for deficiencies or failures in our supervisory and regulatory compliance systems and programs. We may also face liabilities for actual or alleged breaches of legal duties to clients of our advisors or Independent RIAs, including in respect of issues related to the financial products we make available or the investment advice or securities recommendations our advisors or Independent RIAs provide to their clients.
In addition, the administration of client accounts involves operational processes such as recordkeeping and accounting, security pricing, corporate actions, and account reconciliations that are complex and rely on various tools and resources. Failure to properly perform operational tasks or errors in the design or function of these tools, could subject us to regulatory sanctions, penalties or litigation and result in reputational damage, and liability to clients.
We are subject to various standards of care, including in some cases fiduciary obligations. Moreover, new and developing state and federal regulatory requirements with respect to standards of care and other obligations, as discussed under “Risks Related to Our Regulatory Environment” below, may introduce new grounds for legal claims or enforcement actions against us in the future, in particular with respect to our brokerage services. We may also become subject to claims, allegations and legal proceedings related to employment matters, including wage and hour, discrimination or harassment claims, or matters involving others’ intellectual property or other proprietary rights, including infringement or misappropriation claims.
There are risks inherent in the independent broker-dealer business model.
Compared to wirehouses and other employee model broker-dealers, we generally offer advisors wider choice in operating their businesses with regard to product offerings, outside business activities, office technology and supervisory models. Our approach may make it more challenging for us to comply with our supervisory and
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regulatory compliance obligations, particularly in light of our limited on-site supervision and the complexity of certain advisor business models.
Misconduct and errors by our employees, advisors or Independent RIAs could be difficult for us to detect and could result in actual or alleged violations of law by us, investigations, litigation, regulatory sanctions, or serious reputational or financial harm. Although we have designed policies and procedures to comply with applicable laws, rules, regulations and interpretations, we cannot always prevent or detect misconduct and errors by our employees, advisors or Independent RIAs, and the precautions we take to prevent and detect these activities may not be effective in all cases. Prevention and detection among our advisors, who are typically not our direct employees and some of whom tend to be located in small, decentralized offices, present additional challenges, particularly in the case of complex products or supervision of outside business activities, including those conducted through Independent RIAs. In addition, although we provide our advisors with requirements and recommendations for their office technology, we cannot fully control or monitor the extent of their implementation of our requirements and recommendations. Accordingly, we cannot assure that our advisors’ technology meets our standards, including with regard to information security and cybersecurity. We also cannot assure that misconduct or errors by our employees, advisors or Independent RIAs will not lead to a material adverse effect on our business, or that our insurance will be available or sufficient to cover the cost to our business of such misconduct or errors.
We rely on third-party service providers, including off-shore providers, to perform technology, processing and support functions, and our operations are dependent on financial intermediaries that we do not control.
We rely on outsourced service providers to perform certain technology, processing and support functions. For example, we have an agreement with Refinitiv US LLC (“BETAHost”), under which it provides us key operational support, including data processing services for securities transactions and back office processing support. Our use of third-party service providers may decrease our ability to control operating risks and information technology systems risks.
Any significant failures by BETAHost or our other service providers could cause us to sustain serious operational disruptions and incur losses and could harm our reputation. These third-party service providers are also susceptible to operational and technology vulnerabilities, including cyber-attacks, security breaches, ransomware, fraud, phishing attacks and computer viruses, which could result in unauthorized access, misuse, loss or destruction of data, an interruption in service or other similar events that may impact our business.
We cannot assure that our third-party service providers will be able to continue to provide their services in an efficient, cost-effective manner, if at all, or that they will be able to adequately expand their services to meet our needs and those of our advisors. An interruption in or the cessation of service by a third-party service provider and our inability to make alternative arrangements in a timely manner could cause a disruption to our business and could have a material impact on our ability to serve our advisors and their clients. In addition, we cannot predict the costs or time that would be required to find an alternative service provider.
We have transitioned certain business and technology processes to off-shore providers, which has increased the related risks described above. For example, we rely on several off-shore service providers, operating in multiple locations, for functions related to cash management, account transfers, information technology infrastructure and support and document indexing, among others. To the extent third-party service providers are located in foreign jurisdictions, we are exposed to risks inherent in such providers conducting business outside of the United States, including international economic and political conditions as well as natural disasters, and the additional costs associated with complying with foreign laws and fluctuations in currency values.
We expect that our regulators would hold us responsible for any deficiencies in our oversight and control of our third-party relationships and for the performance of such third parties. If there were deficiencies in the oversight and control of our third-party relationships, and if our regulators held us responsible for those deficiencies, our business, reputation and results of operations could be adversely affected.
In addition, certain aspects of our operations are dependent on third-party financial institutions that we do not control, such as clearing agents, securities exchanges, clearing houses and other financial intermediaries. Any failure of these intermediaries, or any interruption in their operations, either on a widespread or individual basis, could adversely affect our ability to execute transactions, service our clients and manage our exposure to risk. In the event of such failure or interruption, there is no guarantee that we would be able to find adequate and cost-effective replacements on a timely basis, if at all.
Like us, these intermediaries are exposed to risks related to fluctuations and volatility in the financial markets and broader economy, as well as specific operational risks related to their business, such as those related to technology,
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security and the prevailing regulatory environment. Because we rely on these intermediaries, we share indirect exposure to these risks. If these risks were to materialize, or if there was a widespread perception that they could materialize, our business, reputation and results of operations could be adversely affected.
Lack of liquidity or access to capital could impair our business and financial condition.
Liquidity, or ready access to funds, is essential to our business. We expend significant resources investing in our business, particularly with respect to our technology and service platforms. In addition, we must maintain certain levels of required capital. As a result, reduced levels of liquidity could have a significant negative effect on us. Some potential conditions that could negatively affect our liquidity include:
illiquid or volatile markets;
diminished access to debt or capital markets;
unforeseen cash or capital requirements;
actual or alleged events of default under our Credit Agreement, Broker-Dealer Revolving Credit Facility, Indentures or other agreements governing our indebtedness;
regulatory penalties or fines, settlements, customer restitution or other remediation costs; or
adverse legal settlements or judgments.
The capital and credit markets continue to experience varying degrees of volatility and disruption. In some cases, the markets have exerted downward pressure on availability of liquidity and credit capacity for businesses similar to ours. Without sufficient liquidity, we could be required to limit or curtail our operations or growth plans, and our business would suffer.
We may sometimes be required to fund timing differences arising from the delayed receipt of client funds associated with the settlement of client transactions in securities markets. These timing differences are funded either with internally generated cash flow or, if needed, with funds drawn under our revolving credit facility, Broker-Dealer Revolving Credit Facility or uncommitted lines of credit. We may also need access to capital in connection with the growth of our business, through acquisitions or otherwise.
In the event current resources are insufficient to satisfy our needs, we may need to rely on financing sources such as bank debt. The availability of additional financing will depend on a variety of factors such as:
market conditions;
the general availability of credit;
the volume of trading activities;
the overall availability of credit to the financial services industry;
our credit ratings and credit capacity; and
the possibility that current or future lenders could develop a negative perception of our long- or short-term financial prospects as a result of industry- or company-specific considerations. Similarly, our access to funds may be impaired if regulatory authorities or rating organizations take negative actions against us.
Disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the capital and credit markets may also limit our access to capital required to operate our business. Such market conditions may limit our ability to satisfy statutory capital requirements, generate commission, fee and other market-related revenue to meet liquidity needs and access the capital necessary to grow our business. As such, we may be forced to delay raising capital, issue different types of capital than we would otherwise, less effectively deploy such capital, or bear an unattractive cost of capital, which could decrease our profitability and significantly reduce our financial flexibility.
Our business could be materially adversely affected as a result of the risks associated with acquisitions, investments and strategic relationships.
We have made acquisitions and investments and entered into strategic relationships in the past and plan to pursue further acquisitions, investments and strategic relationships in the future, including in connection with our institution offering and Liquidity & Succession solution. These transactions are accompanied by risks. For instance, an acquisition could have a negative effect on our financial and strategic position and reputation, or the acquired business could fail to further our strategic or financial goals.
We can provide no assurances that advisors who join LPL Financial through acquisitions or investments in advisor practices will remain at LPL Financial. Moreover, we may not be able to successfully integrate acquired businesses into ours, and therefore we may not be able to realize the intended benefits from an acquisition. We may have a
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lack of experience in new markets, products or technologies brought on by the acquisition, and we may have an initial dependence on unfamiliar supply or distribution partners. An acquisition may create an impairment of relationships with customers or suppliers of the acquired business or our advisors or suppliers. All of these and other potential risks may serve as a diversion of our management’s attention or other resources from other business concerns, and any of these factors could have a material adverse effect on our business. For more information about risks relating to updating our technology in connection with our business development opportunities, see “We rely on technology in our business, and technology and execution failures could subject us to losses, litigation and regulatory actions” below.
Our risk management policies and procedures may not be fully effective in mitigating our risk exposure in all market environments or against all types of risks.
We have adopted policies and procedures to identify, monitor and manage our risk. These policies and procedures, however, may not be effective and may not be adapted quickly enough to respond effectively to changed circumstances. Some of our compliance and risk evaluation functions depend upon information technology systems, information provided by others and public information regarding markets, clients or other matters that are otherwise accessible by us. In some cases, however, that information may not be available, accurate, complete or up-to-date. Also, because many of our advisors work in decentralized offices, additional risk management challenges exist, including with regard to advisor office technology, vendors and information security practices. In addition, our existing systems, policies and procedures, and staffing levels may be insufficient to support a significant increase in our advisor population. Any such increase could require us to increase our costs, including information technology costs, in order to maintain our compliance and risk management obligations, or strain our existing policies and procedures as we evolve to support a larger advisor population. If our systems, policies and procedures are not effective, or if we are not successful in capturing risks to which we are or may be exposed, we may suffer harm to our reputation or be subject to litigation or regulatory actions that could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.
We face competition in attracting and retaining key talent.
Our success depends upon the continued services of our key senior management personnel, including our executive officers and senior managers. Each of our executive officers is an employee at will, and none has an employment agreement. The loss of one or more of our key senior management personnel, and the failure to recruit a suitable replacement or replacements, could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Moreover, our success and future growth depends upon our ability to attract and retain qualified employees. There is significant competition for qualified employees in the financial services industry, and we may not be able to retain our existing employees or fill new positions or vacancies created by expansion or turnover. The loss or unavailability of these individuals could have a material adverse effect on our business.
The securities settlement process exposes us to risks related to adverse movements in price.
LPL Financial provides clearing services and trade processing for our advisors and their clients and certain institutions. Broker-dealers that clear their own trades are subject to substantially more regulatory requirements than brokers that outsource these functions to third-party providers. Errors in performing clearing functions, including clerical, technological and other errors related to the handling of funds and securities held by us on behalf of our advisors’ clients, could lead to censures, fines or other sanctions imposed by applicable regulatory authorities, as well as losses and liabilities in related lawsuits and proceedings brought by our advisors’ clients and others. Any unsettled securities transactions or wrongly executed transactions may expose our advisors and us to losses resulting from adverse movements in the prices of such securities.
Our indebtedness could adversely affect our financial condition and may limit our ability to use debt to fund future capital needs.
At December 31, 2023, we had total indebtedness of $3.7 billion, of which $1.3 billion is subject to floating interest rates. Our level of indebtedness could increase our vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions. It could also require us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to payments on our indebtedness, thereby reducing the availability of our cash flow to fund working capital, capital expenditures and other general corporate purposes. In addition, our level of indebtedness may limit our flexibility in planning for changes in our business and the industry in which we operate and limit our ability to borrow additional funds. With interest rate increases, our interest expense has increased because borrowings under our Credit Agreement are based on variable interest rates.
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If our cash flows and capital resources are insufficient to fund our debt service obligations, we could face substantial liquidity problems and could be forced to sell assets, seek additional capital or seek to restructure or refinance our indebtedness. These alternative measures may not be successful or feasible. Our Credit Agreement restricts our ability to sell assets. Even if we could consummate those sales, the proceeds that we realize from them may not be adequate to meet any debt service obligations then due. Furthermore, if an event of default were to occur with respect to our Credit Agreement, our Broker-Dealer Revolving Credit Facility or other future indebtedness, we could lose access to these sources of liquidity and our creditors could, among other things, accelerate the maturity of our indebtedness.
Our Credit Agreement and the Indentures governing our Notes permit us to incur additional indebtedness. Under our Credit Agreement we have the right to request additional commitments for new term loans, new revolving credit commitments and increases to then-existing term loans and revolving credit commitments subject to certain limitations. Although the Credit Agreement contains restrictions on the incurrence of additional indebtedness, these restrictions are subject to a number of significant qualifications and exceptions, and the indebtedness incurred in compliance with these restrictions could be substantial. In addition, other obligations that do not qualify as “indebtedness” under the terms of our Credit Agreement are not restricted by that agreement. To the extent new debt or other obligations are added to our currently anticipated debt levels, the substantial indebtedness risks described above would increase.
A credit rating downgrade would not impact the terms of our repayment obligations under the Credit Agreement or the Indentures. However, a credit rating downgrade to a below investment grade rating could cause currently suspended restrictive covenants and guarantees under certain of our Indentures to automatically be reinstated. Any such downgrade would negatively impact our ability to obtain comparable rates and terms on any future refinancing of our debt and could restrict our ability to incur additional indebtedness. In addition, if such downgrade were to occur, or if ratings agencies indicated that a downgrade may occur, perceptions of our financial strength could be damaged, which could affect our client relationships and decrease the number of investors, clients and counterparties that do business with us.
Restrictions under our Credit Agreement may prevent us from taking actions that we believe would be in the best interest of our business.
Our Credit Agreement contains customary restrictions on our activities, including covenants that may restrict us from:
incurring additional indebtedness or issuing disqualified stock or preferred stock;
declaring dividends or other distributions to stockholders;
repurchasing equity interests;
redeeming indebtedness that is subordinated in right of payment to certain debt instruments;
making investments or acquisitions;
creating liens;
selling assets;
guaranteeing indebtedness;
engaging in certain transactions with affiliates;
entering into agreements that restrict dividends or other payments from subsidiaries; and
consolidating, merging or transferring all or substantially all of our assets.
These restrictions may prevent us from taking actions that we believe would be in the best interest of our business. Our ability to comply with these restrictive covenants will depend on our future performance, which may be affected by events beyond our control. If we violate any of these covenants or covenants under our Broker-Dealer Revolving Credit Facility and are unable to obtain waivers, we would be in default under our Credit Agreement or the Broker-Dealer Revolving Credit Facility, as applicable. As a result, payment of the indebtedness could be accelerated, which may permit acceleration of indebtedness under the Indentures and other agreements that contain cross-default or cross-acceleration provisions. If our indebtedness is accelerated, we may not be able to repay that indebtedness or borrow sufficient funds to refinance it. Even if we are able to obtain new financing, it may not be on commercially reasonable terms or on terms that are acceptable to us. If our indebtedness is in default for any reason, our business could be materially and adversely affected. In addition, complying with these covenants may also cause us to take actions that are not favorable to holders of our common stock and may make it more difficult for us to successfully execute our business strategy and compete against companies that are not subject to such restrictions.
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Provisions of our Credit Agreement and certain of the Indentures could discourage an acquisition of us by a third-party.
Certain provisions of our Credit Agreement and the Indentures could make it more difficult or more expensive for a third-party to acquire us, and any of our future debt agreements may contain similar provisions. Upon the occurrence of certain transactions constituting a change of control, all indebtedness under our Credit Agreement may be accelerated and become due and payable and, under certain of the Indentures, noteholders will have the right to require us to repurchase our senior unsecured notes (the “Notes”) issued under such Indentures at a purchase price equal to 101% of the principal amount of such Notes plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to but not including the purchase date. A potential acquirer may not have sufficient financial resources to purchase our outstanding indebtedness in connection with a change of control.
Our insurance coverage may be expensive and we may exceed our limits of insurance coverage.
We are subject to claims in the ordinary course of business. These claims may involve substantial amounts of money and involve significant defense costs. It is not always possible to prevent or detect activities giving rise to claims, and the precautions we take may not be effective in all cases.
We maintain voluntary and required insurance coverage, including, among others, general liability, property, director and officer, excess Securities Investor Protection Corporation, business interruption, cyber and data breach, error and omission and fidelity bond insurance. We have self-insurance for certain potential liabilities through a wholly-owned captive insurance subsidiary. While we endeavor to self-insure and purchase coverage that is appropriate based on our assessment of our risk, we are unable to predict with certainty the frequency, nature or magnitude of claims for direct or consequential damages. Assessing the probability of a loss occurring and the timing and amount of any loss related to a regulatory matter or a legal proceeding is inherently difficult, and there are particular uncertainties and complexities involved when assessing the adequacy of loss reserves for potential liabilities that are self-insured by our captive insurance subsidiary. The availability of coverage depends on the nature of the claim and the adequacy of reserves, which in turn depends in part on historical claims experience, including the actual timing and costs of resolving matters that begin in one policy period and are resolved in a subsequent period. Further to the difficulties noted above regarding assessing the probability of a loss occurring and the timing and amount of any loss related to a regulatory matter or a legal proceeding, such assessment requires complex judgments, which may include the procedural status of the matter and any recent developments; prior experience and the experience of others in similar matters; the size and nature of potential exposures; available defenses; the progress of fact discovery; the opinions of counsel and experts; potential opportunities for settlement and the status of any settlement discussions; as well as the potential for insurance coverage and indemnification, if available. In addition, certain types of potential claims for damages cannot be insured. Our business may be negatively affected if in the future unforeseen circumstances cause us to exceed the limits of our insurance coverage or some or all of our insurance proves to be unavailable to cover our liabilities related to legal or regulatory matters. Such negative consequences could include additional expense and financial loss, which could be significant in amount. In addition, insurance claims may harm our reputation or divert management resources away from operating our business.
Poor service or performance of the financial products that we offer or competitive pressures on pricing of such services or products may cause clients of our advisors to withdraw their assets on short notice.
Clients of our advisors have control over their assets that are served under our platforms. Poor service or performance of the financial products that we offer, the emergence of new financial products or services from others, harm to our reputation or competitive pressures on pricing of such services or products may result in the loss of clients. In addition, we must monitor the pricing of our services and financial products in relation to competitors and periodically may need to adjust commission and fee rates, interest rates on deposits and margin loans and other fee structures to remain competitive. Competition from other financial services firms, such as reduced or zero commissions to attract clients or trading volume, direct-to-investor online financial services, including so-called “robo” advice, or higher deposit rates to attract client cash balances, could result in pricing pressure or otherwise adversely impact our business. The decrease in revenue that could result from such an event could have a material adverse effect on our business.
A loss of our marketing relationships with manufacturers of financial products could harm our relationship with our advisors and, in turn, their clients.
Our curated product platform offers no proprietary financial products. To help our advisors meet their clients’ needs with suitable investment options, we have relationships with many of the industry-leading providers of financial and insurance products. We have sponsorship agreements with some manufacturers of fixed and variable annuities, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that, subject to the survival of certain terms and conditions, may be
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terminated by the manufacturer upon notice. If we lose our relationships with one or more of these manufacturers, our ability to serve our advisors and, in turn, their clients, and our business, may be materially adversely affected. As an example, certain variable annuity product sponsors have ceased offering and issuing new variable annuity contracts. If this trend continues, we could experience a loss in the revenue currently generated from the sale of such products. In addition, certain features of such contracts have been eliminated by variable annuity product sponsors. If this trend continues, the attractiveness of these products would be reduced, potentially reducing the revenue we currently generate from the sale of such products.
Changes in U.S. federal income tax law could make some of the products distributed by our advisors less attractive to clients.
Some of the financial products distributed by our advisors, such as variable annuities, enjoy favorable treatment under current U.S. federal income tax law. Changes in U.S. federal income tax law, in particular with respect to variable annuity products, or with respect to tax rates on capital gains or dividends, could make some of these products less attractive to clients and, as a result, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows or financial condition.
Risks Related to Our Regulatory Environment
Any failure to comply with applicable federal or state laws or regulations, or SRO rules, exposes us to litigation and regulatory actions, which could increase our costs or negatively affect our reputation.
Our business, including securities and investment advisory services, is subject to extensive regulation under both federal and state laws, rules and regulations, as well as SRO rules. Our subsidiary LPL Financial is:
registered as a clearing broker-dealer with the SEC, each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands;
registered as an investment adviser with the SEC;
registered as an introducing broker-dealer with the CFTC;
a member of FINRA and various other SROs, and a participant in various clearing organizations, including the Depository Trust Company, the National Securities Clearing Corporation and the Options Clearing Corporation; and
subject to oversight by the DOL relative to its servicing of retirement plan accounts subject to ERISA and the Code.
The primary SRO of LPL Financial’s broker-dealer activity is FINRA, and the primary regulator of LPL Financial’s investment advisory activity is the SEC. LPL Financial is also subject to state laws, including state “blue sky” laws, and the rules of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board for its municipal securities activities. The CFTC has designated the NFA as LPL Financial’s primary regulator for futures and commodities trading activities.
The SEC, FINRA, DOL, CFTC, NFA, OCC, various securities and futures exchanges and other United States and state-level governmental or regulatory authorities continuously review legislative and regulatory initiatives and may adopt new or revised laws, regulations or interpretations. There can be no assurance that other federal or state agencies will not attempt to further regulate our business or that specific interactions with foreign countries or foreign nationals will not trigger regulation in non-U.S. law in particular circumstances. These legislative and regulatory initiatives may affect the way in which we conduct our business and may make our business model less profitable.
Our ability to conduct business in the jurisdictions in which we currently operate depends on our compliance with the laws, rules and regulations promulgated by federal regulatory bodies and the regulatory authorities in each of the states and other jurisdictions in which we do business. Our ability to comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations and interpretations is largely dependent on our establishment and maintenance of compliance, audit and reporting systems and procedures, as well as our ability to attract and retain qualified compliance, audit, supervisory and risk management personnel. We cannot assure you that our systems and procedures are, or have been, effective in complying with all applicable laws, rules and regulations and interpretations. In particular, the diversity of information security environments in which our services are offered makes it difficult to ensure a uniformly robust level of compliance. Regulators have in the past raised, and may in the future raise, concerns with respect to the quality, consistency or oversight of certain aspects of our compliance systems and programs and our past or future compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations.
As of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, we have a number of pending regulatory matters. For example, in October 2022, we received a request for information from the SEC in connection with an investigation of the
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Company’s compliance with records preservation requirements for business-related electronic communications stored on personal devices or messaging platforms that we have not approved. Under the SEC’s proposed resolution, we would pay a $50.0 million civil monetary penalty. As a result of the foregoing, we have recorded $40.0 million in other expense on the consolidated statements of income for the year ended December 31, 2023, to reflect the amount of the penalty that is not covered by our captive insurance subsidiary. We have not yet reached a settlement in principle with the SEC, and any settlement agreement remains subject to negotiation of the civil monetary penalty and definitive documentation. For more information, see Note 14 - Commitments and Contingencies within the notes to the consolidated financial statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Violations of laws, rules or regulations and settlements in respect of alleged violations have in the past resulted in, and could in the future result in, legal liability, censures, penalties and fines, disgorgement of profits, restitution to customers, remediation, the issuance of cease-and-desist orders or injunctive or other equitable relief against us, which individually or in the aggregate could negatively impact our financial results or adversely affect our ability to attract or retain financial advisors and institutions. Depending on the nature of the violation, we may be required to offer restitution or remediation to customers, and the costs of doing so could exceed our loss reserves.
We have established a captive insurance subsidiary that underwrites insurance for various regulatory and legal risks, although self-insurance coverage is not available for all matters, and may not be sufficient to protect us from losses we may incur. For more information about the potential limits of our insurance coverage, including our self-insurance coverage, see “Our insurance coverage may be expensive and we may exceed our limits of insurance coverage” above.
Regulatory developments could adversely affect our business by increasing our costs or making our business less profitable.
Our profitability could be affected by rules and regulations that impact the business and financial communities generally and, in particular, our advisors and their clients, including changes to the interpretation or enforcement of laws governing standards of care applicable to investment advice and recommendations, taxation, the classification of our independent advisors as independent contractors rather than our employees, trading, electronic commerce, privacy, data protection and anti-money laundering. Failure to comply with these rules and regulations could subject us to regulatory actions or litigation and it could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows or financial condition.
New laws, rules and regulations, or changes to the interpretation or enforcement of existing laws, rules or regulations, could also result in limitations on the lines of business we conduct or plan to conduct, modifications to our current or future business practices, compressed margins, increased capital requirements and additional costs. The regulatory environment, including a significant number of rule proposals from the SEC, continues to evolve, and will likely increase the complexity of operating our business. For example, regulators have introduced and adopted rules that subject broker-dealers and investment advisers to a higher standard of care. This includes the SEC’s Reg BI, fiduciary duty rules in Massachusetts and Nevada, and state best interest standards applicable to broker-dealers or the sale of certain annuity and insurance products. In addition, the DOL proposed a “Retirement Security Rule” that would broaden the definition of fiduciary advice and modify the prohibited transaction exemptions that enable firms to receive various types of compensation. These developments could negatively impact our results, including by increasing our expenditures related to legal, compliance, and information technology and could result in other costs, including greater risks of client lawsuits and enforcement activity by regulators. These changes may also affect the array of products and services we offer to clients and the compensation that we and our advisors receive in connection with such products and services.
It is unclear how and whether other regulators, including the SEC, FINRA, DOL, banking regulators and other state securities and insurance regulators may respond to, or enforce elements of, these new regulations, or develop their own similar laws and regulations. The impacts, degree and timing of the effect of these laws and future regulations on our business cannot now be anticipated or planned for, and may have further impacts on our products and services and the results of operations. Consult the “Retirement Plan Services Regulation” section within Part I, “Item 1. Business” for specific information about risks associated with DOL regulations and related exemptions and their potential impact on our operations.
In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act enacted wide-ranging changes in the supervision and regulation of the financial industry designed to provide for greater oversight of financial industry participants, reduce risk in banking practices and in securities and derivatives trading, enhance public company corporate governance practices and executive compensation disclosures and provide for greater protections to individual consumers and investors. Certain elements of the Dodd-Frank Act remain subject to implementing regulations that are yet to be adopted by the applicable regulatory agencies. Compliance with these provisions could require us to review our product and service
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offerings for potential changes and would likely result in increased compliance costs. Moreover, to the extent the Dodd-Frank Act, or other existing or new laws and regulations affect the operations, financial condition, liquidity and capital requirements of financial institutions with which we do business, those institutions may seek to pass on increased costs, reduce their capacity to transact, or otherwise present inefficiencies in their interactions with us. It is not possible to determine the extent of the impact of any new laws, regulations or initiatives that may be imposed, or whether any existing proposals will become law. New laws or regulations could make compliance more difficult and expensive and affect the manner in which we conduct business.
Likewise, federal and state standards prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability in public accommodations and employment, including those related to the Americans with Disabilities Act, are evolving to require an increasing number of public spaces, including web-based applications, to be made accessible to the disabled. As a result, we could be required to make modifications to our internet-based applications or to our other client- or advisor-facing technologies, including our website, to provide enhanced or accessible service to, or make reasonable accommodations for, disabled persons. This adaptation of our websites and web-based applications and materials could result in increased costs and may affect the products and services we provide. Failure to comply with federal or state standards could result in litigation, including class action lawsuits.
In sum, our profitability may be adversely affected by current and future rulemaking and enforcement activity by the various federal, state and self-regulatory organizations to which we are subject. The effect of these regulatory developments on our business cannot now be anticipated or planned for, but may have further impacts on our products and services and results of operations.
We are subject to various regulatory requirements, which, if not complied with, could result in the restriction of the conduct or growth of our business.
The business activities that we may conduct are limited by various regulatory agencies. Our membership agreement with FINRA may be amended by application to include additional business activities. This application process is time-consuming and may not be successful. As a result, we may be prevented from entering into or acquiring new potentially profitable businesses in a timely manner, or at all. In addition, as a member of FINRA, we are subject to certain regulations regarding changes in control. FINRA Rule 1017 generally provides, among other things, that FINRA approval must be obtained in connection with any transaction resulting in a 25% or more change in the ownership of a FINRA member that results in one person or entity directly or indirectly owning or controlling 25% or more of such member. Similarly, the OCC imposes advance approval requirements for a change of control, and control is presumed to exist if a person acquires 10% or more of our common stock. These regulatory approval processes can result in delay, increased costs or impose additional transaction terms in connection with a proposed change of control or material change in business operations of us or a FINRA member that we seek to acquire. As a result of these regulations, our future efforts to sell shares, raise additional capital or participate in acquisition activity may be delayed, prohibited or limited.
In addition, the SEC, FINRA, CFTC, OCC and NFA have extensive rules and regulations with respect to capital requirements. Our registered broker-dealer subsidiaries, including LPL Financial, are subject to Rule 15c3-1 (“Net Capital Rule”) under the Exchange Act, and related requirements of SROs. The CFTC and NFA also impose net capital requirements. The Net Capital Rule specifies minimum capital requirements that are intended to ensure the general soundness and liquidity of broker-dealers. Because our holding companies are not registered broker-dealers, they are not subject to the Net Capital Rule. However, the ability of our holding companies to withdraw capital from our broker-dealer subsidiaries, including LPL Financial, could be restricted in the event they experience a net capital shortfall, which in turn could limit our ability to repay debt, redeem or repurchase shares of our outstanding stock or pay dividends. A large operating loss or charge against net capital could also adversely affect our ability to expand or maintain our present levels of business.
Failure to comply with ERISA regulations and certain tax-qualified plan laws and regulations could result in penalties against us.
As discussed above, we are subject to ERISA and Section 4975 of the Code, and to regulations promulgated thereunder, insofar as we provide services with respect to plan clients, or otherwise deal with plans, participants and certain types of investment/savings accounts that are subject to ERISA or the Code. ERISA imposes certain duties on persons who are “fiduciaries” (as defined in Section 3(21) of ERISA and the related rules or interpretations) and prohibits certain transactions involving plans subject to ERISA and fiduciaries or other service providers to such plans. Non-compliance with or breaches of these provisions may expose an ERISA fiduciary or other service provider to liability under ERISA, which may include monetary and criminal penalties as well as equitable remedies for the affected plan. Section 4975 of the Code prohibits certain transactions involving “plans” (as defined in Section
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4975(e)(1)), which include, for example, IRAs and certain Keogh plans and other qualified savings accounts, and service providers, including fiduciaries (as defined in Section 4975(e)(3)), to such plans. Section 4975 also imposes excise taxes for violations of these prohibitions. Our failure to comply with ERISA and the Code could result in significant penalties against us that could have a material adverse effect on our business or severely limit the extent to which we could act as fiduciaries for or provide services to these plans.
Risks Related to Our Technology
We rely on technology in our business, and technology and execution failures could subject us to losses, litigation and regulatory actions.
Our business relies extensively on electronic data processing, storage and communications systems. In addition to better serving our advisors and their clients, the effective use of technology increases efficiency and enables firms like ours to reduce costs, support our regulatory compliance and reporting functions, and better serve advisors and their clients. Our continued success will depend, in part, upon our ability to continue to invest significant resources on our technology systems in order to:
successfully maintain and upgrade the capabilities and resiliency of our systems;
address the needs of our advisors and their clients by using technology to provide products and services that satisfy their demands while ensuring the security of the data involving those products and services;
use technology effectively and securely to support our regulatory compliance and reporting functions;
comply with the changing landscape of laws and regulations that govern protection of personally identifiable information; and
retain skilled information technology employees.
Extraordinary trading volumes, malware, ransomware or attempts by hackers to introduce large volumes of fraudulent transactions into our systems, beyond reasonably foreseeable spikes in volumes, could cause our computer systems to operate at an unacceptably slow speed or even fail. Failure of our systems, which could result from these or other events beyond our control, or an inability or failure to effectively upgrade those systems, implement new technology-driven products or services, or implement adequate disaster recovery capabilities, could result in financial losses, unanticipated disruptions in our service, liability to our advisors or advisors’ clients, compliance failures, regulatory sanctions and damage to our reputation.
We continually update our technology platform with the goal of improving its reliability, resiliency, security and functionality, including in connection with regulatory requirements, acquisitions and strategic relationships. While we seek to implement these updates with no or limited interruption to our operations or the availability of our systems, we may not be successful and resulting interruptions could be widespread, lengthy, or both. Even if no interruption occurs, these updates may not result in the benefits to our systems that we contemplate. For example, we are upgrading our technology systems in connection with our current and future business development opportunities, pending acquisitions, investments and strategic relationships. These efforts involve a significant investment of financial and personnel resources and we cannot guarantee that these upgrades or the investments that support them will be completed successfully, on time or at all, or that they will not result in interruptions to the availability of our technology systems or business operations. More generally, our failure to upgrade our systems successfully could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, as well as our ability to achieve our growth objectives. For more information about risks related to upgrading our technology platform, see “Failure to maintain technological capabilities, flaws in existing technology, difficulties in upgrading our technology platform or the introduction of a competitive platform could have material adverse effect on our business” below.
Our operations rely on the secure processing, storage and transmission of confidential and other proprietary information in our computer systems and networks, including personally identifiable information of advisors and their clients, as well as our employees. Although we take protective measures and endeavor to strengthen the security of these systems as circumstances warrant, our computer systems, software and networks are to some degree vulnerable to unauthorized access, human error, computer viruses, denial-of-service attacks, malicious code, spam attacks, phishing, ransomware or other forms of social engineering and other events that could impact the security, reliability, confidentiality, integrity and availability of our systems. To the extent third parties, such as product sponsors, also retain similarity sensitive information about our advisors or their clients, their systems may face similar vulnerabilities. We are not able to protect against these events completely given the rapid evolution of new vulnerabilities, the complex and distributed nature of our systems, our interdependence on the systems of other companies and the increased sophistication of potential attack vectors and methods against our systems. In particular, advisors work in a wide variety of environments, and although we require our advisors to maintain certain
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minimum security levels and adopt certain security procedures by policy, we cannot ensure the universal or consistent compliance with these policies across all of our advisors, or that our policy will be adequate to address the evolving threat environment. If one or more of these events occur, they could jeopardize our own, our advisors’ or their clients’, or our counterparties’ confidential and other proprietary information processed, stored in and transmitted through our computer systems and networks, or otherwise cause interruptions or malfunctions in our own, our advisors’ or their clients’, our counterparties’, or third parties’ operations. As a result, we could be subject to litigation, client loss, reputational harm, regulatory sanctions and financial losses that are either not insured or are not fully covered through any insurance we maintain. If any person, including any of our employees or advisors, negligently disregards or intentionally breaches our established controls with respect to confidential client data, or otherwise mismanages or misappropriates that data, we could also be subject to significant monetary damages, regulatory enforcement actions, fines and/or criminal prosecution in one or more jurisdictions.
We currently and may in the future use, develop, and incorporate within our technology platform and services, systems and tools that incorporate artificial intelligence (“AI”) and machine learning, including generative AI. As with many innovations, AI and machine learning present risks and challenges that could adversely impact our business. The development, adoption and application of generative AI technologies are still in their early stages, and ineffective or inadequate AI development or deployment practices by third-party developers or vendors could result in unintended consequences. For example, AI algorithms that we use may be flawed or may be based on datasets that are biased or insufficient. In addition, any latency, disruption or failure in our AI and machine learning systems or infrastructure could result in delays or errors in our products and services. Developing, testing, and deploying resource-intensive AI systems may require additional investment and increase our costs. There also may be real or perceived social harm, unfairness or other outcomes that undermine public confidence in the use and deployment of AI and machine learning. Any of the foregoing may result in harm to our business, results of operations or reputation.

The legal and regulatory landscape surrounding AI and machine learning technologies is rapidly evolving and remains uncertain, including in the areas of intellectual property, cybersecurity, privacy and data protection. For example, there is uncertainty around the validity and enforceability of intellectual property rights related to use, development and deployment of AI and machine learning. Compliance with new or changing laws, regulations or industry standards relating to AI may impose significant operational costs and may limit our ability to develop, deploy or use AI and machine learning technologies. Failure to appropriately respond to this evolving landscape may result in legal liability, regulatory action or brand and reputational harm.
Our information technology systems may be vulnerable to security risks.
The secure transmission of confidential information, including personally identifiable information, over public networks is a critical element of our operations. As part of our normal operations, we maintain and transmit confidential information about clients of our advisors, our advisors and our employees, as well as proprietary information relating to our business operations. The risks related to transmitting data and using service providers outside of and storing or processing data within our network are increasing based on escalating and malicious cyber activity, including activity that originates outside of the United States from criminal elements and hostile nation-states.
Cybersecurity requires ongoing investment and diligence against evolving threats and is subject to federal and state regulation relating to the protection of confidential information. We may be required to expend significant additional resources to modify our protective measures, to investigate and remediate vulnerabilities or other exposures, to make required notifications, or to update our technologies, websites and web-based applications to comply with industry and regulatory standards, but we may not have adequate personnel, financial or other resources to fully meet these threats and evolving standards. We will also be required to effectively and efficiently govern, manage and ensure timely enhancements to our systems, including in their design, architecture and interconnections as well as their organizational and technical protections. The SEC has proposed new cybersecurity regulations for investment advisers, and other new regulations may be promulgated by relevant federal and state authorities at any time. In addition, compliance with regulatory expectations may become increasingly complex as more state regulatory authorities issue or amend regulations, which sometimes conflict, governing handling of confidential information by companies within their jurisdiction. Several states have promulgated cybersecurity requirements that impact our compliance obligations. Compliance with these regulations also could be costly and disruptive to our operations, and we cannot provide assurance that the impact of these regulations would not, either individually or collectively, be material to our business.
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Our application service provider systems maintain and process confidential data on behalf of advisors and their clients, some of which is critical to our advisors’ business operations. If our application service provider systems are disrupted or fail for any reason, or if our systems or facilities are infiltrated or damaged by unauthorized persons or malicious computer code, we or our advisors could experience data loss, operational disruptions, financial loss, harm to reputation, regulatory violations, class action and commercial litigation and significant business interruption or loss. In addition, vulnerabilities of our external service providers or within our software supply chain could pose security risks to client information. If any such disruption or failure occurs, or is perceived to have occurred, we or our advisors may be exposed to unexpected liability, advisors or their clients may withdraw assets, our reputation may be harmed and there could be a material adverse effect on our business. Further, any actual or perceived breach or cybersecurity attack directed at other financial institutions or financial services companies, whether or not we are targeted, could lead to a general loss of customer confidence in the use of technology to conduct financial transactions, which could negatively impact us, including the market perception of the effectiveness of our security measures and technology infrastructure. The occurrence of any of these events may have a material adverse effect on our business or results of operations.
Even though we monitor and seek to improve the security of our information technology systems, they remain vulnerable to security risks, and there can be no guarantee that they will not be subject to unauthorized access. We rely on our advisors and employees to comply with our policies and procedures to safeguard confidential data, but disloyal or negligent insiders pose risks. The failure of our advisors and employees to comply with such policies and procedures, either intentionally or unintentionally, could result in the loss or wrongful use of their clients’ confidential information or other sensitive information. In addition, even if we and our advisors comply with our policies and procedures, persons who circumvent security measures or bypass authentication controls could infiltrate or damage our systems or facilities and wrongfully use our confidential information or clients’ confidential information or cause interruptions or malfunctions in our operations. Cyber-attacks can be designed to collect information, manipulate, destroy or corrupt data, applications, or accounts and to disable the functioning or use of applications or technology assets. Such activity could, among other things:
damage our reputation;
allow competitors or hackers access to our proprietary business information;
subject us to liability for a failure to safeguard client data;
result in the termination of relationships with our advisors;
subject us to regulatory sanctions or obligations, based on state law or the authority of the SEC and FINRA to enforce regulations regarding business continuity planning or cybersecurity;
subject us to litigation by consumers, advisors or other business partners that may suffer damages as a result of such activity; 
result in inaccurate financial data reporting; and
require significant capital and operating expenditures to investigate and remediate a breach.
As malicious cyber activity escalates, including activity that originates outside of the United States, the risks we face relating to transmission of data and our use of service providers outside of our network, as well as the storing or processing of data within our network, intensify. While we maintain cyber liability insurance, this insurance does not cover certain types of potential losses and, for covered losses, may not be sufficient in amount to protect us against all such losses.
A cyber-attack or other security breach of our technology systems or those of our advisors or third-party vendors could negatively impact our normal operations, and as a result, subject us to significant liability and harm our reputation.
We cannot be certain that our systems and networks will not be subject to successful attacks, despite the measures we have taken and may take in the future to address and mitigate cybersecurity, privacy and technology risks. Additionally, in the course of operations, we share sensitive proprietary information and personal data with vendors, third parties and other financial institutions. We also rely upon software and data feeds from various third parties. Although we have a third party management program and conduct due diligence before sharing sensitive data with third-party vendors, this due diligence may not uncover administrative, technical or electronic gaps or flaws in their processes or systems. In the past we have experienced limited breaches of information security with our vendors, which have led to notification costs and reputational harm with regulators, current and potential advisors, and advisors’ clients, and we may experience similar or more significant events in the future. Future data security incidents involving individual and regulatory notifications could lead to litigation involving other financial institutions, class actions, regulatory investigations or other harm.
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Data security incidents within the financial services industry are increasing, and threat actors continue to find novel ways to attack security environments. In light of the diversity of our advisors’ security environments and the increasing sophistication of malicious actors, an attack could occur and persist for an extended period of time without detection. We expect that any investigation of a cyber-attack could take substantial amounts of time, and that there may be extensive delays before we obtain full and reliable information. In some cases, the nature of the attack may be such that full and reliable information may never be available. During such time we would not necessarily know the extent of the harm or how best to remediate it, and certain errors or actions could be repeated or compounded before they are discovered and remediated, all of which would further increase the costs and consequences of such an attack.
These incidents could involve operational disruptions, notification costs, ransom payments and reputational harm, investigations, litigation and fines with regulators, and increases in insurance premiums as well as litigation, financial disputes and reputational harm with current and potential advisors and advisors’ clients.
Failure to comply with the complex privacy and data protection laws and regulations to which we are subject could result in adverse action from regulators and adversely affect our business, reputation, results of operations and financial condition.
Many aspects of our business are subject to comprehensive legal requirements concerning the collection, use and sharing of personal information, including client and employee information. This includes rules adopted pursuant to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and an ever-increasing number of state laws and regulations, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act, as amended by the California Privacy Rights Act. Similar laws are in force in Colorado, Connecticut, Utah, and Virginia, and other such laws will go into force over the next few years. We continue our efforts to safeguard the data entrusted to us in accordance with applicable law and our internal data protection policies, including taking steps to reduce the potential for the improper use or disclosure of personal information. We continue to monitor regulations related to data privacy and protection on both a domestic and international level to assess requirements and impacts on our business operations. The evolving patchwork of differing state and federal privacy and data security laws increases the cost and complexity of operating our business and our exposure to regulatory investigations, enforcement, fines, and penalties, any of which could negatively impact our business and operations. Failure to comply with these obligations could result in legal liability, censures, penalties and fines, disgorgement of profits, restitution to customers, remediation, the issuance of cease-and-desist orders, or injunctive or other equitable relief against us, which individually or in the aggregate could negatively impact our financial results or adversely affect our ability to attract or retain financial advisors and institutions. Depending on the nature of the violation, we may be required to offer restitution or remediation to customers, and the costs of doing so could exceed our loss reserves.
Failure to maintain technological capabilities, flaws in existing technology, difficulties in upgrading our technology platform or the introduction of a competitive platform could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We believe that our future success will depend in part on our ability to anticipate and adapt to technological advancements required to meet the changing demands of our advisors and their clients. We depend on highly specialized and, in many cases, proprietary technology to support our business functions, including among others:
securities trading and custody;
portfolio management;
performance reporting;
customer service;
accounting and internal financial processes and controls; and
regulatory compliance and reporting.
Our continued success depends on our ability to effectively adopt new or adapt existing technologies to meet changing client, industry and regulatory demands. The emergence of new industry standards and practices could render our existing systems obsolete or uncompetitive. There cannot be any assurance that another company will not design a similar or better platform that renders our technology less competitive.
Maintaining competitive technology requires us to make significant capital investments, both in the near term and longer-term. There cannot be any assurance that we will have sufficient resources to adequately update and expand our information technology systems or capabilities, or offer our services on the personal and mobile computing devices that may be preferred by our advisors and/or their clients, nor can there be any assurance that any upgrade or expansion efforts will be sufficiently timely, successful, secure and accepted by our current and prospective
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advisors or their clients. The process of upgrading and expanding our systems has at times caused, and may in the future cause, us to suffer system degradations, outages and failures. If our technology systems were to fail and we were unable to recover in a timely way, we would be unable to fulfill critical business functions, which could lead to a loss of advisors and could harm our reputation. A breakdown in advisors’ systems could have similar effects. A technological breakdown could also interfere with our ability to comply with financial reporting and other regulatory requirements, exposing us to disciplinary action and to liability to our advisors and their clients. Security, stability and regulatory risks also exist because parts of our infrastructure and software are beyond their manufacturer’s stated end of life. We are working to mitigate such risks through additional controls and increased modernization spending, although we cannot provide assurance that our risk mitigation efforts will be effective, in whole or in part. For more information about risks related to upgrading our technology, see “We rely on technology in our business, and technology and execution failures could subject us to losses, litigation and regulatory actions” above.
Inadequacy or disruption of our business continuity and disaster recovery plans and procedures in the event of a catastrophe could adversely affect our business.
We have made significant investments in our infrastructure, and our operations are dependent on our ability to protect the continuity of our infrastructure against damage from catastrophe or natural disaster, breach of security, ransomware attack, human error, loss of power, computer and/or telecommunications failure, or other natural or man-made events. A catastrophic event could have a direct negative impact on us by adversely affecting our advisors, employees or facilities, or an indirect impact on us by adversely affecting the financial markets or the overall economy. While we have implemented business continuity and disaster recovery plans and maintain business interruption insurance, it is impossible to fully anticipate and protect against all potential catastrophes. In addition, we depend on the adequacy of the business continuity and disaster recovery plans of our third-party service providers, including off-shore service providers, in order to prevent or mitigate service interruptions. If our business continuity and disaster recovery plans and procedures, or those of our third-party service providers, were disrupted or unsuccessful in the event of a catastrophe, we could experience a material adverse interruption of our operations.
Risks Related to Ownership of Our Common Stock
The price of our common stock may be volatile and fluctuate substantially, which could result in substantial losses for our investors.
The market price of our common stock may fluctuate substantially due to the following factors (in addition to the other risk factors described in this Item 1A):
actual or anticipated fluctuations in our results of operations, including with regard to interest rates or revenue associated with our client cash programs;
variance in our financial performance from the expectations of equity research analysts;
conditions and trends in the markets we serve;
announcements of significant new services or products by us or our competitors;
additions or changes to key personnel;
the commencement or outcome of litigation or arbitration proceedings;
the commencement or outcome of regulatory actions, including settlements with the SEC, FINRA, DOL or state securities regulators;
changes in market valuation or earnings of our competitors;
the trading volume of our common stock;
future sales of our equity securities;
changes in the estimation of the future size and growth rate of our markets;
legislation or regulatory policies, practices or actions, including developments related to the “best interest” and “fiduciary” standards of care; 
political developments; and
general economic conditions.
In addition, the equity markets in general have experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have often been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of the particular companies affected. These broad market and industry factors may materially harm the market price of our common stock irrespective of our operating
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performance. In addition, in the past, following periods of volatility in the overall market and the market price of a company’s securities, securities class action litigation has often been instituted against the affected company. This type of litigation could result in substantial costs and a diversion of our management’s attention and resources.
We are a holding company and rely on dividends, distributions and other payments, advances and transfers of funds from our subsidiaries to meet our debt service and other obligations.
We have no direct operations and derive all of our cash flow from our subsidiaries. Because we conduct our operations through our subsidiaries, we depend on those entities for dividends and other payments or distributions to meet any existing or future debt service and other obligations. The deterioration of the earnings from, or other available assets of, our subsidiaries for any reason could limit or impair their ability to pay dividends or other distributions to us. In addition, FINRA regulations restrict dividends in excess of 10% of a member firm’s excess net capital without FINRA’s prior approval. Compliance with this regulation may impede our ability to receive dividends from our broker-dealer subsidiaries. For more information about potential limits on our ability to receive dividends from our broker-dealer subsidiaries, see “We are subject to various regulatory requirements, which, if not complied with, could result in the restriction of the conduct or growth of our business” above.
Our future ability to pay regular dividends to holders of our common stock or repurchase shares are subject to the discretion of our Board and will be limited by our ability to generate sufficient earnings and cash flows.
Our Board declared quarterly cash dividends on our outstanding common stock in 2023 and has authorized us to repurchase shares of the Company’s issued and outstanding shares of common stock. The declaration and payment of any future quarterly cash dividend or any additional repurchase authorizations will be subject to the Board’s continuing determination that the declaration of future dividends or repurchase of our shares are in the best interests of our stockholders and are in compliance with our Credit Agreement, the Indentures and applicable law. Such determinations will depend upon a number of factors that the Board deems relevant, including future earnings, the success of our business activities, capital requirements, alternative uses of capital, general economic, financial and business conditions, and the future prospects of our own business.
The future payment of dividends or repurchases of shares will also depend on our ability to generate earnings and cash flows. If we are unable to generate sufficient earnings and cash flows from our business, we may not be able to pay dividends on our common stock or repurchase additional shares. In addition, our ability to pay cash dividends on our common stock and repurchase shares is dependent on the ability of our subsidiaries to pay dividends, including compliance with limitations under our Credit Agreement and the Indentures. Our broker-dealer subsidiaries, including LPL Financial, are subject to requirements of the SEC, FINRA, CFTC, NFA and other regulators relating to liquidity, capital standards and the use of client funds and securities, which may limit funds available for the payment of dividends to us.
Item 1B.  Unresolved Staff Comments
None.
Item 1C.  Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity Risk Management and Strategy
We maintain an information security program (the “Program”) to help manage material risks and cybersecurity threats to our business, operations and assets. As part of our Program, we maintain policies, procedures and standards that outline the Company’s expectations, guidelines and structured approach to managing cybersecurity risks. We leverage established security frameworks, such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework, as guides to organize, assess and improve our Program. In addition, our employees are required to complete a cybersecurity and privacy training program each year, which is supplemented with additional awareness efforts, including phishing campaigns and informational articles.
We operate a security operation center to ingest threat intelligence, monitor for cybersecurity threats and coordinate incident response resources. In the event of a cybersecurity incident, the Company has developed a security incident response plan that establishes a structured approach for the Company’s response. The security incident response plan includes processes through which cybersecurity incidents are escalated based on a defined incident risk rating to business stakeholders and a security incident response team, as well as to the Company’s executive officers, which may result in engagement with management’s risk oversight committee (the “ROC”), the Board and the Audit and Risk Committee of the Board (“ARC”), as needed. To improve preparedness for a cybersecurity
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incident, we conduct tabletop exercises at least annually. These exercises are conducted by internal personnel and with assistance from third-party experts, as needed.
Cybersecurity Governance
The Program is situated within the Company’s information security department, which is comprised of multiple teams, including security operations, security architecture and engineering, technology governance, mergers and acquisitions information security, and advisor security. The information security department is led by the chief information security officer, who has primary responsibility for managing the Program. The current chief information security officer has over 20 years of experience in information security, including a lead auditor certification from the International Organization for Standardization, an international standard for information security management systems.
The Board has delegated oversight of the Program to the ARC, including oversight of the Company’s cyber- and technology-related risks and the steps management has taken to identify, assess, monitor, and manage those risks. In addition, the Board has established a reporting structure and cadence related to oversight of the Program, which includes respective oversight responsibilities for the Board, the ARC and management risk committees, including the Technology Risk Committee, the Operational Risk Oversight Committee and the Risk Oversight Committee. Each of the Board and the ARC receive staggered periodic reports on the Program’s effectiveness and progress on at least an annual basis.
The assessment, identification and management of cybersecurity-related risks are integrated into the Company’s overall Enterprise Risk Management (“ERM”) process. Cybersecurity risk is included among the significant residual risks identified during the Company’s assessment of business risk. This risk assessment process is used to inform the Company’s strategic planning process, and to develop action plans to appropriately address and manage risk. It is also used to focus our Board and its committees on the most significant risks to our Company. In addition, the enterprise risk function has established foundational frameworks for assessing, monitoring and overseeing the Company’s risks, including risks from cybersecurity threats. This includes reporting on issues, risk events or incidents and emerging risks to applicable risk committees to provide monitoring of key risk exposures.
Engagement of Third Parties
We engage third-party subject matter experts and consultants to conduct evaluations of our security controls, including, but not limited to, penetration testing, maturity assessments or consulting on our response to emerging threats. Results of these evaluations are used to help determine priorities and initiatives to improve the overall Program. As necessary, we also engage third-party experts and consultants to assist with the incident response process to augment our internal security operation center team.
We use a third-party risk performance management program to evaluate cybersecurity risk for third-party service providers. Vendor cybersecurity controls are then assessed to determine if the vendor’s control environment meets the Company’s standards. Vendors are also assessed on a periodic ongoing basis according to their risk classification.
We have not identified any cybersecurity incidents that individually, or in the aggregate, have materially affected or are reasonably likely to materially affect the Company. Regardless, we recognize cybersecurity threats are ongoing and evolving, and there can be no guarantee that we will not be subject to a cybersecurity incident that has a material effect on our business. Please consult the “Risks Related to Our Technology” section within Part I, “Item 1A. Risk Factors” for more information about the risks associated with cybersecurity.
Item 2.  Properties
A summary of our significant locations at December 31, 2023 is shown in the following table:
LocationApproximate Square FootageLease Expiration
Fort Mill, South Carolina461,000 2036
San Diego, California420,000 2029
Austin, Texas57,000 2029
We also lease smaller administrative and operational offices in various locations throughout the United States. We believe that our existing properties are adequate for the current operating requirements of our business and that additional space will be available as needed.
Item 3.  Legal Proceedings
From time to time, we have been subjected to and are currently subject to legal and regulatory proceedings arising out of our business operations, including lawsuits, arbitration claims and inquiries, investigations and enforcement proceedings initiated by the SEC, FINRA and state securities regulators, as well as other actions and claims.
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For a discussion of legal proceedings, see Note 14 - Commitments and Contingencies within the notes to the consolidated financial statements and Part I, “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Item 4.  Mine Safety Disclosures
Not applicable.
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Information about our Executive Officers
The following table provides certain information about each of the Company’s executive officers as of the date this Annual Report on Form 10-K has been filed with the SEC:
NameAgePosition
Dan H. Arnold59President and Chief Executive Officer
Matthew J. Audette49Chief Financial Officer and Head of Business Operations
Althea Brown
47Managing Director, Chief Legal Officer
Sara Dadyar
50
Managing Director, Chief Human Capital Officer
Matthew Enyedi50Managing Director, Client Success
Greg Gates46Managing Director, Chief Technology & Information Officer
Aneri Jambusaria40Managing Director, LPL Services Group
Kabir Sethi53Managing Director, Chief Product Officer
Richard Steinmeier50Managing Director, Divisional President, Business Development
Executive Officers
Dan H. Arnold — President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Arnold has served as our chief executive officer since January 2017. He has served as our president since March 2015 with responsibility for our primary client-facing functions and long-term strategy for growth. Mr. Arnold served as our chief financial officer from June 2012 to March 2015 and was responsible for formulating financial policy, leading our capital management efforts and ensuring the effectiveness of the organization’s financial functions. Prior to 2012, he was managing director, head of strategy, with responsibility for long-term strategic planning for the firm, product and platform development and strategic investments, including acquisitions. He has also served as divisional president of our Institution Services. Mr. Arnold joined our Company in January 2007 following our acquisition of UVEST Financial Services Group, Inc. Prior to joining us, Mr. Arnold worked at UVEST for 13 years serving most recently as president and chief operating officer. Mr. Arnold earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from Auburn University and holds an M.B.A. in finance from Georgia State University.
Matthew J. Audette — Chief Financial Officer and Head of Business Operations
Mr. Audette has served as our chief financial officer since 2015 and head of business operations since February 2023, with responsibility for the Company’s financial, risk, compliance and client operations functions. He leads the Company’s financial planning and analysis, treasury, controllership, tax, internal audit, corporate development and investor relations functions. In addition, he oversees the teams responsible for delivering operational speed and transparency, along with continued strong compliance and risk management, to the Company’s advisors and enterprises.
Since joining LPL Financial in 2015 as chief financial officer, Mr. Audette has led corporate acquisitions, debt transactions, the client deposit portfolio, expense management and capital allocation. In addition, he oversaw the LPL Services Group from May 2022 until February 2023. Prior to joining LPL Financial, Mr. Audette served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of E*TRADE Financial Corporation. During his 16 years with E*TRADE, he was a key contributor in the growth of the franchise, leading a variety of corporate transactions and capital activities. Mr. Audette began his career in the financial services practice at KPMG. Mr. Audette earned a B.S. in accounting from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, popularly known as Virginia Tech.
Althea Brown — Managing Director, Chief Legal Officer
Ms. Brown has served as managing director, chief legal officer since September 2023. She is responsible for company-wide legal, regulatory and government relations matters and has a leading role in LPL Financial’s ongoing focus on enhancing the corporate risk profile. Ms. Brown has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services, technology and retail industries, leading high-performing legal teams for large corporations. She joined LPL Financial from Google, where she spent 11 years, serving most recently as Legal Director, overseeing a large team of product and commercial lawyers advising subsidiary Fitbit and Google’s Devices and Services’ marketing, e-commerce, retail, customer support, and vendor management teams. Earlier in her career, Ms. Brown served as supervising attorney for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, and spent 10 years in a variety of roles at J.P. Morgan
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Chase in their Investment Management and Investment Banking divisions. Ms. Brown received a B.A. in economics and French from New York University and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. She holds a Six Sigma Black Belt and is a Fellow with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity.
Sara Dadyar — Managing Director, Chief Human Capital Officer
Ms. Dadyar has served as managing director, chief human capital officer of LPL Financial since January 2024. She is responsible for overseeing human resources, talent development, corporate real estate, total rewards and talent acquisition, advisor and employee learning and development, culture and engagement, and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Ms. Dadyar joined LPL Financial in January 2024 from Proterra Inc., where she served as the chief people officer from October 2022 to December 2023. Prior to Proterra, Ms. Dadyar worked at GE for over 24 years, including as the executive Human Resources leader for GE Gas Power and GE Capital Americas, global executive director of Human Resources for GE Working Capital Solutions, and senior Human Resources director of GE Media, Communications and Entertainment. Ms. Dadyar earned a B.A. in art history from the University of Connecticut and completed M.S. coursework in human resources management from Manhattanville College.
Matthew Enyedi — Managing Director, Client Success
Mr. Enyedi has served as managing director, client success since February 2023. The client success organization is a client-centered, cross-functional team responsible for fueling the sustained success and satisfaction of the Company’s advisors and enterprises. Under this organization, the relationship management, marketing and communications, service and supervision teams focus on providing an integrated and consistent experience across clients’ primary touchpoints with LPL. Mr. Enyedi served as managing director, national sales and marketing from April 2022 to February 2023, with responsibility for growing the Company’s client relationships. He served as managing director, business solutions from November 2020 to April 2022, with responsibility for developing and deploying the platform of professional services for advisors now included in the LPL Services Group. Prior to that, he led LPL Financial’s national sales and wealth management organizations and was responsible for data analytics and accelerating the organic growth of the Company’s advisors across planning, advisory, brokerage and retirement plan services. Prior to joining LPL Financial in 2003, he worked as a financial advisor with UBS PaineWebber. Mr. Enyedi earned a B.A. in speech communication and business administration from the University of San Diego. He earned the Certified Investment Management Analyst® designation from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.
Greg Gates — Managing Director, Chief Technology & Information Officer
Mr. Gates has served as managing director, chief technology & information officer of LPL Financial since July 2021. In this role he is responsible for managing all aspects of the Company’s technology and systems applications. He leads an information technology organization responsible for delivering technology solutions and market-leading platforms that enable positive, compelling experiences for our advisors, enterprises and employees. Mr. Gates joined LPL Financial in 2018 with nearly two decades of senior-level management experience focused on the application of technology to solve business challenges on a global scale. Before joining LPL Financial, Mr. Gates led product management and engineering teams at PayPal from 2011 to 2018, focusing on internal technology platforms, merchant and consumer experiences, risk and security, and global operations. Prior to that, he led a number of technology organizations at Bank of America, culminating in leadership of Bank of America’s Contact Center Technology from 2002 to 2011. Mr. Gates earned his B.S. in biomedical engineering from Vanderbilt University and has successfully completed multiple leadership, continuing education and certification programs from several organizations.
Aneri Jambusaria – Managing Director, LPL Services Group
Ms. Jambusaria has served as managing director, LPL Services Group since February 2023. In this role, she is responsible for the development and delivery of LPL Financial’s portfolio of business services, planning and advice services, and value-added consultation functions, which address key challenges advisors and enterprises face in serving investors and operating their businesses. Ms. Jambusaria joined LPL Financial in 2020 as executive vice president, strategy and new ventures and transitioned into an expanded role in 2021 to lead the LPL Services Group. Prior to joining LPL Financial, Ms. Jambusaria held various positions at Fidelity Investments, most recently as head of the Planning Office for Enterprise Strategy and Planning. During her nine years at Fidelity, she helped shape strategy for business lines while gaining a strong understanding of wealth management and the products, solutions and technologies that serve investors. Before Fidelity, she worked as a senior consultant for Deloitte’s financial services practice. Ms. Jambusaria earned her B.S. in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and her M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
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Kabir Sethi — Managing Director, Chief Product Officer
Mr. Sethi has served as managing director, chief product officer of LPL Financial since May 2022. He is responsible for LPL Financial’s technology platforms and wealth management offerings, ensuring the delivery of innovative products to advisors and clients. In this role, he provides strategic leadership and direction to the wealth management solutions, investment research, investor product experience, advisor technology products, and data and analytics teams, who are focused on delivering wealth solutions and digital capabilities for our advisors and enterprises, to enable them to continue driving growth and productivity in all areas of their businesses. Prior to joining LPL Financial, Mr. Sethi spent 18 years at Merrill Lynch, at which he held several leadership positions, including managing director in Bank of America’s Global Wealth & Investment Management division. He also served as head of Digital for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and was responsible for digital platforms, including the financial advisor experience, wealth planning, and social media. Mr. Sethi earned a B.A. in economics from St. Stephen’s College at Delhi University, an M.I.B. from Columbia University, and an M.B.A. from Indian Institute of Management.
Richard Steinmeier — Managing Director, Divisional President, Business Development
Mr. Steinmeier has served as managing director and divisional president, business development of LPL Financial since August 2018. In this role, he has responsibility for recruiting new advisors and enterprises to LPL Financial and to existing advisor practices, as well as exploring new markets and merger and acquisition opportunities. Prior to joining LPL Financial, Mr. Steinmeier served as managing director, head of digital strategy and platforms for UBS Wealth Management Americas from September 2017 to August 2018 and as managing director, head of the Emerging Affluent Segment and Wealth Advice Center from August 2012 to September 2017. Prior to UBS, Mr. Steinmeier held a variety of leadership roles at Merrill Lynch, most recently as managing director of the Merrill Edge Advisory Center from February 2009 to August 2012. Prior to joining Merrill Lynch, he served as an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company from 2002 to 2006. Mr. Steinmeier earned a B.S. in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from Stanford University.
PART II
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Market Information
Our common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “LPLA.” The closing sale price as of February 16, 2024 was $257.66 per share. As of that date, there were 871 common stockholders of record based on information provided by our transfer agent. The number of stockholders of record does not reflect the number of individual or institutional stockholders that beneficially own the Company’s stock because most stock is held in the name of nominees.

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Performance Graph
The following graph compares the cumulative total stockholder return (rounded to the nearest whole dollar) of the Company’s common stock, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Financial Sector Index and the Dow Jones U.S. Financial Services Index for the five-year period ended December 31, 2023. The graph assumes a $100 investment at the closing price on December 31, 2018 and reinvestment of the dividends on the respective dividend payment dates without commissions. This graph does not forecast future performance of the Company’s stock.
1129Dividend Policy
The payment, amount and timing of any future dividends will be subject to the discretion of our Board and will depend on a number of factors, including future earnings and cash flows, capital requirements, alternative uses of capital, general business conditions, our future prospects, contractual restrictions and covenants and other factors that our Board may deem relevant. Our Credit Agreement contains restrictions on our activities, including paying dividends on our capital stock. For an explanation of these restrictions, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Debt and Related Covenants.” In addition, FINRA regulations restrict dividends in excess of 10% of a member firm’s excess net capital without FINRA’s prior approval, potentially impeding our ability to receive dividends from LPL Financial.
Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans
The table below sets forth information on compensation plans under which our equity securities are authorized for issuance as of December 31, 2023:
Plan categoryNumber of securities
to be issued
upon exercise of
outstanding options,
warrants and rights
Weighted-average
exercise price of
outstanding options,
warrants and rights
Number of securities remaining available for future issuance under equity compensation plans
Equity compensation plans approved by security holders546,820$54.81 12,796,123
36

Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer
The table below sets forth information regarding share repurchases, reported on a trade date basis, during the three months ended December 31, 2023:
PeriodTotal number of shares purchasedWeighted-average price paid per share
Total number of shares purchased as part of publicly announced program
Approximate dollar value of shares that may yet be purchased under the program (millions)(1)
October 1, 2023 through October 31, 202350,145$223.28 50,145$1,113.8 
November 1, 2023 through November 30, 2023569,041$223.36 569,041$986.7 
December 1, 2023 through December 31, 2023394,277$219.96 394,277$900.0 
Total1,013,4631,013,463
(1) On September 21, 2022, the Board authorized a $2.1 billion increase to the amount available for repurchases of the Company’s issued and outstanding common shares, with $2.0 billion available for repurchases beginning in 2023. See Note 15 - Stockholders’ Equity, within the notes to the consolidated financial statements for additional information.
The repurchases may be executed from time to time, subject to general business and market conditions and other investment opportunities, through open market purchases or privately negotiated transactions, including transactions with affiliates, with the timing of purchases and the amount of shares purchased generally determined at the discretion of the Company within the constraints of the Credit Agreement, applicable laws and consideration of the Company’s general liquidity needs.
Item 6.  Reserved
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Adjusted EPS: A non-GAAP financial measure defined as Adjusted Net Income divided by the weighted average number of diluted shares outstanding for the applicable period.
Adjusted Net Income: A non-GAAP financial measure defined as net income plus the after-tax impact of amortization of other intangibles, acquisition costs and a regulatory charge related to an investigation of the Company’s compliance with records preservation requirements for business-related electronic communications stored on personal devices or messaging platforms that have not been approved by the Company.
Basis Point: One basis point equals 1/100th of 1%.
CFTC: The Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Core G&A: A non-GAAP financial measure defined as total expense excluding the following expenses: advisory and commission; depreciation and amortization; interest expense on borrowings; brokerage, clearing and exchange; amortization of other intangibles; market fluctuations on employee deferred compensation; promotional (ongoing); employee share-based compensation; regulatory charges; and acquisition costs.
Corporate Cash: A component of cash and equivalents that includes the sum of cash and equivalents from the following: (1) cash and equivalents held at LPL Holdings, Inc., (2) cash and equivalents held at regulated subsidiaries as defined by the Company’s Credit Agreement, which include LPL Financial LLC and The Private Trust Company, N.A., in excess of the capital requirements of the Company’s Credit Agreement, which, in the case of LPL Financial LLC is net capital in excess of 10% of its aggregate debits, or five times the net capital required in accordance with the Uniform Net Capital Rule, and (3) cash and equivalents held at non-regulated subsidiaries.
Credit Agreement: The Company’s amended and restated credit agreement.
Credit Agreement EBITDA: A non-GAAP financial measure defined in the Credit Agreement as “Consolidated EBITDA,” which is Consolidated Net Income (as defined in the Credit Agreement) plus interest expense on borrowings, provision for income taxes, depreciation and amortization, and amortization of other intangibles, and is further adjusted to exclude certain non-cash charges and other adjustments, and to include future expected cost savings, operating expense reductions or other synergies from certain transactions.
Dodd-Frank Act: The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
DOL: The United States Department of Labor.
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EBITDA: A non-GAAP financial measure defined as net income plus interest expense on borrowings, provision for income taxes, depreciation and amortization, and amortization of other intangibles.
ERISA: The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
FINRA: The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
GAAP: Accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.
Gross profit: A non-GAAP financial measure defined as total revenue less advisory and commission expense; brokerage, clearing and exchange expense; and market fluctuations on employee deferred compensation.
Indentures: The indentures governing the Company’s senior unsecured notes.
Leverage Ratio: A financial metric from our Credit Agreement that is calculated by dividing Credit Agreement net debt, which equals consolidated total debt less Corporate Cash, by Credit Agreement EBITDA.
NFA: The National Futures Association.
OCC: The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
RIA: Registered investment advisor.
SEC: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
SRO: Self-regulatory organization.
Uniform Net Capital Rule: Refers to Rule 15c3-1 under the Exchange Act, which specifies minimum capital requirements that are intended to ensure the general financial soundness and liquidity of broker-dealers.
Item 7.  Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
The following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the notes to those consolidated financial statements included in “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve significant risks and uncertainties. As a result of many factors, such as those set forth under “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements. Please also refer to the section under heading “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.”
Business Overview
We are a leader in the advisor-mediated marketplace as the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer, a leading investment advisory firm, and a top custodian. We serve independent financial advisors and enterprises, providing them with the technology solutions, brokerage and advisory platforms, clearing services, compliance services, consultative practice management programs and training, business services and planning and advice services, and in-house research they need to run successful businesses. We enable them to provide personalized financial guidance to millions of American families seeking wealth management, retirement planning, financial planning and asset management solutions. Please consult Part I, “Item 1. Business” for information related to our business activities.
Our Sources of Revenue
Our revenue is derived primarily from fees and commissions from products and advisory services offered by our advisors to their clients, a substantial portion of which we pay out to our advisors, as well as fees we receive from our advisors for the use of our technology, custody, clearing, trust and reporting platforms. We also generate asset-based revenue through our insured bank sweep vehicles, money market account balances and the access we provide to a variety of product providers with the following product lines:
• Alternative Investments
• Retirement Plan Products
• Annuities
• Separately Managed Accounts
• Exchange Traded Products
• Structured Products
• Insurance Based Products
• Unit Investment Trusts
• Mutual Funds
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Under our self-clearing platform, we custody the majority of client assets invested in these financial products, for which we provide statements, transaction processing and ongoing account management. In return for these services, mutual funds, insurance companies, banks and other financial product sponsors pay us fees based on asset levels or number of accounts managed. We also earn interest from margin loans made to our advisors’ clients, cash and equivalents segregated under federal or other regulations, advisor repayable loans and operating cash, which is included in interest income, net in the consolidated statements of income. A portion of our revenue is not asset-based or correlated with the equity financial markets.
We regularly review various aspects of our operations and service offerings, including our policies, procedures and platforms, in response to marketplace developments. We seek to continuously improve and enhance aspects of our operations and service offerings in order to position our advisors for long-term growth and to align with competitive and regulatory developments. For example, we regularly review the structure and fees of our products and services, including related disclosures, in the context of the changing regulatory environment and competitive landscape for advisory and brokerage accounts.
Significant Events
Entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire Atria Wealth Solutions, Inc.
On February 13, 2024, the Company announced that it had entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire Atria, a wealth management solutions holding company headquartered in New York. As part of the agreement, Atria will transition its brokerage and advisory assets, currently custodied with its network of broker-dealers, to the Company’s platform. The Company expects to close the transaction in the second half of 2024 with the conversion expected in mid-2025, subject to receipt of regulatory approval and other closing conditions.
Completed initial investment grade debt offering
On November 17, 2023, the Company completed its initial investment grade debt offering with the issuance of $750.0 million in aggregate principal amount of 6.750% senior unsecured notes due 2028. See Note 11 - Corporate Debt and Other Borrowings, Net, within the notes to the consolidated financial statements for further detail.
Announced a strategic relationship agreement with Prudential’s retail wealth management business
On August 24, 2023, the Company announced an agreement with Prudential to transition the brokerage and investment advisory assets of Prudential Advisors, Prudential’s retail wealth management business, from its current third-party custodian to LPL Financial in the second half of 2024, subject to receipt of regulatory approval and other conditions.
Closed various acquisitions during the year
During the year ended December 31, 2023, the Company completed 19 acquisitions under our Liquidity & Succession solution, in which we buy advisor practices. The Company also completed the acquisition of Boenning & Scattergood’s Private Client Group and FRGIS on January 31, 2023. See Note 4 - Acquisitions, within the notes to the consolidated financial statements for further detail.
Executive Summary
Financial Highlights
Results for the year ended December 31, 2023 included net income of $1.1 billion, or $13.69 per diluted share, which compares to $845.7 million, or $10.40 per diluted share, for the year ended December 31, 2022.
Asset Trends
Total advisory and brokerage assets served were $1.4 trillion at December 31, 2023, compared to $1.1 trillion at December 31, 2022. Total net new assets were $104.1 billion for the year ended December 31, 2023, compared to $95.9 billion for the same period in 2022.
Net new advisory assets were $76.0 billion for the year ended December 31, 2023, compared to $52.4 billion in 2022. Advisory assets were $735.8 billion, or 54.3% of total advisory and brokerage assets served, at December 31, 2023, up 26% from $583.1 billion at December 31, 2022.
Net new brokerage assets were $28.1 billion for the year ended December 31, 2023, compared to $43.5 billion in 2022. Brokerage assets were $618.2 billion at December 31, 2023, up 17% from $527.7 billion at December 31, 2022.
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Gross Profit Trend
Gross profit, a non-GAAP financial measure, was $4.0 billion for the year ended December 31, 2023, an increase of 26% from $3.2 billion for the year ended December 31, 2022. See the “Key Performance Metrics” section for additional information on gross profit.
Common Stock Dividends and Share Repurchases
During the year ended December 31, 2023, we paid stockholders cash dividends of $92.2 million and repurchased 5,075,900 of our outstanding shares for a total of $1.1 billion.
Key Performance Metrics
We focus on several key metrics in evaluating the success of our business relationships and our resulting financial position and operating performance. Our key operating, business and financial metrics are as follows:
As of and for the Years Ended December 31,
Operating Metrics (dollars in billions)(1)
20232022
Advisory and Brokerage Assets(2)
Advisory assets$735.8$583.1
Brokerage assets618.2527.7
Total Advisory and Brokerage Assets$1,354.1$1,110.8
Advisory as a % of total Advisory and Brokerage Assets54.3 %52.5 %
Net New Assets(3)
Net new advisory assets$76.0$52.4
Net new brokerage assets28.143.5
Total Net New Assets$104.1$95.9
Organic Net New Assets
Organic net new advisory assets$75.0$52.4
Organic net new brokerage assets25.443.5
Total Organic Net New Assets$100.4$95.9
Organic advisory net new assets annualized growth(4)
12.9 %8.1 %
Total organic net new assets annualized growth(4)
9.0 %7.9 %
Client Cash Balances
Insured cash account sweep$34.5$46.8
Deposit cash account sweep9.311.5
Total Bank Sweep43.858.4
Money market sweep2.43.0
Total Client Cash Sweep Held by Third Parties46.261.4
Client cash account2.32.7
Total Client Cash Balances$48.5$64.1
Client Cash Balances as a % of Total Assets3.6%5.8%
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As of and for the Years Ended December 31,
20232022
Net buy (sell) activity(5)
$137.6$61.6
Business and Financial Metrics (dollars in millions)
Advisors22,66021,275
Average total assets per advisor(6)
$59.8$52.2
Share repurchases$1,100.1$325.0
Dividends$92.2$79.8
Leverage ratio(7)
1.631.39
Years Ended December 31,
Financial Metrics (dollars in millions, except per share data)20232022
Total revenue$10,052.8$8,600.8
Net income $1,066.3$845.7
Earnings per share (“EPS”), diluted$13.69$10.40
Non-GAAP Financial Metrics (dollars in millions, except per share data)
Adjusted EPS (8)
$15.72$11.52
Gross profit(9)
$4,027.0$3,189.9
EBITDA(10)
$1,985.8$1,525.3
Core G&A(11)
$1,369.4$1,191.9
____________________
(1)Totals may not foot due to rounding.
(2)Consists of total advisory and brokerage assets under custody at the Company’s primary broker-dealer subsidiary, LPL Financial. Please consult the “Results of Operations” section for a tabular presentation of advisory and brokerage assets.
(3)Consists of total client deposits into advisory or brokerage accounts less total client withdrawals from advisory or brokerage accounts, plus dividends, plus interest, minus advisory fees. We consider conversions from and to brokerage or advisory accounts as deposits and withdrawals, respectively.
(4)Calculated as annualized current period organic net new assets divided by preceding period assets in their respective categories of advisory assets or total advisory and brokerage assets.
(5)Represents the amount of securities purchased less the amount of securities sold in client accounts custodied with LPL Financial.
(6)Calculated based on the end of period total advisory and brokerage assets divided by the end of period advisor count.
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(7)The leverage ratio is a financial metric from our Credit Agreement and is calculated by dividing Credit Agreement net debt, which equals consolidated total debt less Corporate Cash, by Credit Agreement EBITDA. Credit Agreement EBITDA, a non-GAAP financial measure, is defined by the Credit Agreement as “Consolidated EBITDA,” which is Consolidated Net Income (as defined in the Credit Agreement) plus interest expense on borrowings, provision for income taxes, depreciation and amortization, and amortization of other intangibles, and is further adjusted to exclude certain non-cash charges and other adjustments, and to include future expected cost savings, operating expense reductions or other synergies from certain transactions. Please consult the “Debt and Related Covenants” section for more information. Below are reconciliations of corporate debt and other borrowings to Credit Agreement net debt as of the dates below and net income to EBITDA and Credit Agreement EBITDA for the periods presented (in millions):
December 31,
Credit Agreement Net Debt Reconciliation20232022
Corporate debt and other borrowings$3,757.2 $2,737.9 
Corporate Cash(12)
(183.7)(459.4)
Credit Agreement Net Debt(†)
$3,573.5 $2,278.5 
Years Ended December 31,
EBITDA and Credit Agreement EBITDA Reconciliation20232022
Net income$1,066.3 $845.7 
Interest expense on borrowings186.8 126.2 
Provision for income taxes378.5 266.0 
Depreciation and amortization247.0 199.8 
Amortization of other intangibles107.2 87.6 
EBITDA(†)
$1,985.8 $1,525.3 
Credit Agreement Adjustments:
Acquisition costs and other(13)(14)
$110.2 $50.7 
Employee share-based compensation66.0 50.1 
M&A accretion(15)
30.3 10.6 
Advisor share-based compensation2.6 2.5 
Credit Agreement EBITDA(†)
$2,194.8 $1,639.1 
December 31,
20232022
Leverage Ratio1.63 1.39 
____________________
(†)    Totals may not foot due to rounding.
(8)Adjusted EPS is a non-GAAP financial measure defined as adjusted net income, a non-GAAP financial measure defined as net income plus the after-tax impact of amortization of other intangibles, acquisition costs and a regulatory charge related to an investigation of the Company’s compliance with records preservation requirements for business-related electronic communications stored on personal devices or messaging platforms that have not been approved by the Company, divided by the weighted average number of diluted shares outstanding for the applicable period. The Company presents adjusted net income and adjusted EPS because management believes that these metrics can provide investors with useful insight into the Company’s core operating performance by excluding non-cash items, acquisition costs and a regulatory charge that management does not believe impact the Company’s ongoing operations. Adjusted net income and adjusted EPS are not measures of the Company's financial performance under GAAP and should not be considered as alternatives to net income, earnings per diluted share or any other performance measure derived in accordance with GAAP. Below is a reconciliation of net income and earnings per diluted share to adjusted net income and adjusted EPS for the periods presented (in millions, except per share data):
Years Ended December 31,
20232022
Adjusted Net Income / Adjusted EPS Reconciliation
AmountPer ShareAmountPer Share
Net income / earnings per diluted share$1,066.3 $13.69 $845.7 $10.40 
Regulatory charge(13)
40.0 0.51 — — 
Amortization of other intangibles107.2 1.38 87.6 1.08 
Acquisition costs(14)
48.1 0.62 36.2 0.44 
Tax benefit(37.4)(0.48)(32.7)(0.40)
Adjusted Net Income / Adjusted EPS(†)
$1,224.1 $15.72 $936.7 $11.52 
Weighted-average shares outstanding, diluted77.9 81.3 
____________________
(†)    Totals may not foot due to rounding.
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(9)Gross profit is a non-GAAP financial measure defined as total revenue less advisory and commission expense; brokerage, clearing and exchange expense; and market fluctuations on employee deferred compensation. All other expense categories, including depreciation and amortization of property and equipment and amortization of other intangibles, are considered by management to be general and administrative in nature. Because our gross profit amounts do not include any depreciation and amortization expense, we consider our gross profit amounts to be non-GAAP financial measures that may not be comparable to those of others in our industry. We believe that gross profit amounts can provide investors with useful insight into our core operating performance before indirect costs that are general and administrative in nature. Below is a calculation of gross profit for the periods presented (in millions):
Years Ended December 31,
Gross Profit20232022
Total revenue$10,052.8 $8,600.8 
Advisory and commission expense5,915.8 5,324.8 
Brokerage, clearing and exchange expense106.0 86.1 
Employee deferred compensation(16)
4.1 — 
Gross Profit(†)
$4,027.0 $3,189.9 
____________________
(†)    Totals may not foot due to rounding.
(10)EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure defined as net income plus interest expense on borrowings, provision for income taxes, depreciation and amortization, and amortization of other intangibles. The Company presents EBITDA because management believes that it can be a useful financial metric in understanding the Company’s earnings from operations. EBITDA is not a measure of the Company's financial performance under GAAP and should not be considered as an alternative to net income or any other performance measure derived in accordance with GAAP. Below is a reconciliation of net income to EBITDA for the periods presented (in millions):
Years Ended December 31,
EBITDA Reconciliation20232022
Net income$1,066.3 $845.7 
Interest expense on borrowings186.8 126.2 
Provision for income taxes378.5 266.0 
Depreciation and amortization247.0 199.8 
Amortization of other intangibles107.2 87.6 
EBITDA(†)
$1,985.8 $1,525.3 
____________________
(†)    Totals may not foot due to rounding.
(11)Core G&A is a non-GAAP financial measure defined as total expense less the following expenses: advisory and commission; depreciation and amortization; interest expense on borrowings; brokerage, clearing and exchange; amortization of other intangibles; market fluctuations on employee deferred compensation; promotional (ongoing); employee share-based compensation; regulatory charges; and acquisition costs. Management presents core G&A because it believes core G&A reflects the corporate expense categories over which management can generally exercise a measure of control, compared with expense items over which management either cannot exercise control, such as advisory and commission expense, or which management views as promotional expense necessary to support advisor growth and retention, including conferences and transition assistance. Core G&A is not a measure of the Company’s total expense as calculated in accordance with GAAP. Below is a reconciliation of the Company’s total expense to core G&A for the periods presented (in millions):
Years Ended December 31,
Core G&A Reconciliation20232022
Total expense$8,608.1 $7,489.2 
Advisory and commission(5,915.8 )(5,324.8 )
Depreciation and amortization(247.0 )(199.8 )
Interest expense on borrowings(186.8 )(126.2 )
Amortization of other intangibles(107.2 )(87.6 )
Brokerage, clearing and exchange(106.0 )(86.1 )
Employee deferred compensation(16)
(4.1 )— 
Total G&A(†)
2,041.2 1,664.7 
Promotional (ongoing)(14)(17)
(486.3 )(353.9 )
Regulatory charges(13)
(71.3 )(32.6 )
Employee share-based compensation(66.0 )(50.1 )
Acquisition costs(14)
(48.1 )(36.2 )
Core G&A(†)
$1,369.4 $1,191.9 
____________________
(†)    Totals may not foot due to rounding.
(12)See the “Liquidity and Capital Resources” section for additional information about Corporate Cash.
(13)The Company recorded a $40.0 million regulatory charge for the year ended December 31, 2023 related to an investigation of the Company’s compliance with records preservation requirements for business-related electronic communications stored on personal
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devices or messaging platforms that have not been approved by the Company applicable to broker-dealer firms and investment advisors. See Note 14 - Commitments and Contingencies, within the notes to the consolidated financial statements for further detail.
(14)Acquisition costs include the costs to setup, onboard and integrate acquired entities and other costs that were incurred as a result of the acquisition. The below table summarizes the primary components of acquisition costs for the periods presented (in millions):
Years Ended December 31,
Acquisition Costs
20232022
Fair value mark on contingent consideration
$26.7 $— 
Professional services10.0 12.0 
Compensation and benefits6.1 20.6 
Promotional(17)
3.6 2.3 
Other1.7 1.3 
Acquisition Costs
$48.1 $36.2 
(15)M&A accretion is an adjustment to reflect the annualized expected run rate EBITDA of an acquisition as permitted by the Credit Agreement for up to eight fiscal quarters following the close of such acquisition.
(16)During the first quarter of 2023, the Company updated its presentation of employee deferred compensation to be consistent with its presentation of advisor deferred compensation. This change has not been applied retroactively as the impact on prior periods was not material.
(17)Promotional (ongoing) for the years ended December 31, 2023 and December 31, 2022 includes $30.7 million and $16.1 million, respectively, of support costs related to full-time employees that are classified within compensation and benefits expense in the consolidated statements of income. Promotional (ongoing) for the years ended December 31, 2023 and December 31, 2022 excludes $3.6 million and $2.3 million, respectively, of expenses incurred as a result of acquisitions, which are included in the acquisition costs line item.
Economic Overview and Impact of Financial Market Events
Our business is directly and indirectly sensitive to several macroeconomic factors and the state of the financial markets in the United States. According to the most recent estimate from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. economy grew 2.5% in 2023, and at an annualized pace of 3.3% in the fourth quarter of 2023 after growing at an annualized pace of 4.9% in the third quarter of 2023. Although geopolitical tension and high interest rates were all headwinds, the U.S. economy added approximately 494,000 jobs in the fourth quarter of 2023, down from 663,000 in the third quarter. The unemployment rate averaged 3.7% in the fourth quarter, up slightly from the average in the third quarter of 2023.
Our business is also sensitive to current and expected short-term interest rates, which are largely driven by Federal Reserve (“Fed”) policy. During the fourth quarter of 2023, Fed policymakers maintained the target range for the federal funds rate at 5.25% to 5.50%, and the equity markets rebounded as the Fed appeared to end their tightening cycle and prepare markets for future rate cuts. Please consult the “Risks Related to Our Business and Industry” section within Part I, “Item 1A. Risk Factors” for more information about the risks associated with significant interest rate changes and the potential related effects on our profitability and financial condition.
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Results of Operations
A discussion of changes in our results of operations during the year ended December 31, 2022 compared to the year ended December 31, 2021 has been omitted from this Annual Report on Form 10-K, but may be found in “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, filed with the SEC on February 23, 2023.
The following discussion presents an analysis of our results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022 (in thousands):
Years Ended December 31,
20232022% Change
REVENUE
Advisory$4,135,681 $3,875,154 %
Commission:
Trailing1,299,840 1,292,358 %
Sales-based1,252,783 1,033,806 21 %
Total commission2,552,623 2,326,164 10 %
Asset-based:
Client cash1,509,869 953,624 58 %
Other asset-based867,860 806,649 %
Total asset-based2,377,729 1,760,273 35 %
Service and fee508,437 467,381 %
Transaction199,939 181,260 10 %
Interest income, net159,415 77,126 107 %
Other119,024 (86,533)n/m
Total revenue    
10,052,848 8,600,825 17 %
EXPENSE
Advisory and commission5,915,807 5,324,827 11 %
Compensation and benefits979,681 820,736 19 %
Promotional459,233 339,994 35 %
Occupancy and equipment248,620 219,798 13 %
Depreciation and amortization246,994 199,817 24 %
Interest expense on borrowings186,804 126,234 48 %
Amortization of other intangibles107,211 87,560 22 %
Brokerage, clearing and exchange105,984 86,063 23 %
Communications and data processing75,717 67,687 12 %
Professional services72,583 72,519 — %
Other209,439 143,937 46 %
Total expense    
8,608,073 7,489,172 15 %
INCOME BEFORE PROVISION FOR INCOME TAXES
1,444,775 1,111,653 30 %
PROVISION FOR INCOME TAXES
378,525 265,951 42 %
NET INCOME
$1,066,250 $845,702 26 %

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Revenue
Advisory
Advisory revenue represents fees charged to advisors’ clients’ advisory accounts on our corporate RIA advisory platform and is based on a percentage of the market value of the eligible assets in the clients’ advisory accounts. We provide ongoing investment advice and act as a custodian, providing brokerage and execution services on transactions, and perform administrative services for these accounts. Advisory fees are primarily billed to clients on a quarterly basis in advance, and are recognized as revenue ratably during the quarter. The performance obligation for advisory fees is considered a series of distinct services that are substantially the same and are satisfied daily. As the value of the eligible assets in an advisory account is susceptible to changes due to customer activity, this revenue includes variable consideration and is constrained until the date that the fees are determinable. The majority of these client accounts are on a calendar quarter and are billed using values as of the last business day of the preceding quarter. The value of the eligible assets in an advisory account on the billing date is adjusted for estimates of contributions and withdrawals to determine the amount billed, and accordingly, the revenue earned in the following three-month period. Advisory revenue collected on our corporate RIA advisory platform is proposed by the advisor and agreed to by the client and was approximately 1% of the underlying assets for the year ended December 31, 2023.
We also support independent RIA firms that conduct their business through our Independent RIA advisory platform, which allows advisors to engage us for technology, clearing and custody services, as well as access the capabilities of our investment platforms. The assets held under an Independent RIA’s investment advisory accounts custodied with LPL Financial are included in total advisory assets and net new advisory assets. However, the advisory revenue generated by an Independent RIA is not included in our advisory revenue. We charge separate fees to Independent RIAs for technology, clearing, administrative, oversight and custody services, which may vary and are included in our service and fee revenue in our consolidated statements of income.
The following table summarizes the composition of advisory assets for the periods presented (in billions):
December 31,
20232022$ Change% Change
Corporate advisory assets$496.5 $389.1 $107.4 28 %
Independent RIA advisory assets239.3 194.0 45.3 23 %
Total advisory assets
$735.8 $583.1 $152.7 26 %
Net new advisory assets are generated throughout the quarter, therefore, the full impact of net new advisory assets to advisory revenue is not realized in the same period. The following table summarizes activity impacting advisory assets for the periods presented (in billions):
Years Ended December 31,
20232022
Beginning balance at January 1$583.1 $643.2 
Net new advisory assets(1)
76.0 52.4 
Market impact(2)
76.7 (112.5)
Ending balance at December 31$735.8 $583.1 
____________________
(1)Net new advisory assets consist of total client deposits into custodied advisory accounts less total client withdrawals from custodied advisory accounts, plus dividends, plus interest, minus advisory fees. We consider conversions from and to brokerage accounts as deposits and withdrawals, respectively.
(2)Market impact is the difference between the beginning and ending asset balance less the net new asset amounts, representing the implied growth or decline in asset balances due to market changes over the same period of time.
Advisory revenue increased during the year ended December 31, 2023 as compared to the same period in 2022. The increase during the year ended December 31, 2023 was driven by continued organic growth, which increased advisory asset balances during the period, and a positive market impact as compared to the prior period.
Commission
We generate two types of commission revenue: (1) sales-based commissions that are recognized at the point of sale on the trade date and are based on a percentage of an investment product’s current market value at the time of purchase and (2) trailing commissions that are recognized over time as earned and are generally based on the market value of investment holdings in trail-eligible assets. Sales-based commission revenue, which occurs when
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clients trade securities or purchase various types of investment products, primarily represents gross commissions generated by our advisors and can vary from period to period based on the overall economic environment, number of trading days in the reporting period and investment activity of our advisors’ clients. We earn trailing commission revenue primarily on mutual funds and variable annuities held by clients of our advisors. See Note 3 - Revenue, within the notes to the consolidated financial statements for further detail regarding our commission revenue by product category.
The following table sets forth the components of our commission revenue for the periods presented (in thousands):
Years Ended December 31,
20232022$ Change% Change
Trailing$1,299,840 $1,292,358 $7,482 %
Sales-based1,252,783 1,033,806 218,977 21 %
Total commission revenue
$2,552,623 $2,326,164 $226,459 10 %
The increase in trailing commission revenue in 2023 compared to 2022 was primarily due to an increase in sales of annuities during the period. The increase in sales-based commission revenue in 2023 compared to 2022 was primarily driven by an increase in sales of annuities and fixed income securities as a result of the higher interest rate environment, partially offset by a decrease in sales of mutual funds and equities.
The following table summarizes activity impacting brokerage assets for the periods presented (in billions):
Years Ended December 31,
20232022
Beginning balance at January 1$527.7 $563.2 
Net new brokerage assets(1)
28.1 43.5 
Market impact(2)
62.4 (79.0)
Ending balance at December 31$618.2 $527.7 
____________________
(1)Net new brokerage assets consist of total client deposits into brokerage accounts less total client withdrawals from brokerage accounts, plus dividends, plus interest. We consider conversions from and to advisory accounts as deposits and withdrawals, respectively.
(2)Market impact is the difference between the beginning and ending asset balance less the net new asset amounts, representing the implied growth or decline in asset balances due to market changes over the same period of time.
Asset-Based
Asset-based revenue consists of fees from our client cash programs, fees from our sponsorship programs with financial product manufacturers and fees from omnibus processing and networking services (collectively referred to as “recordkeeping”). Client cash revenue is generated on advisors’ clients’ cash balances in insured bank sweep accounts and money market accounts. We also receive fees from certain financial product manufacturers in connection with sponsorship programs that support our marketing and sales force education and training efforts. Compensation for these performance obligations is either a fixed fee, a percentage of the average annual amount of product sponsor assets held in advisors’ clients’ accounts, a percentage of new sales or a combination. Omnibus processing revenue is paid to us by mutual fund product sponsors or their affiliates and is based on the value of mutual fund assets in accounts for which the Company provides omnibus processing services and the number of accounts in which the related mutual fund positions are held. Networking revenue on brokerage assets is correlated to the number of positions we administer and is paid to us by mutual fund product sponsors and annuity product manufacturers.
Asset-based revenue for the year ended December 31, 2023 increased by $617.5 million compared to 2022, primarily due to an increase in client cash revenue. Client cash revenue for the year ended December 31, 2023 increased compared to 2022 due to increases to the federal funds effective rate, partially offset by lower average client cash balances. For the year ended December 31, 2023, our average client cash balances decreased to $48.8 billion compared to $61.9 billion for the year ended December 31, 2022.
Service and Fee
Service and fee revenue is generated from advisor and retail investor services, including technology, insurance, conferences, licensing, business services and planning and advice services, IRA custodian and other client account fees. We charge separate fees to RIAs on our Independent RIA advisory platform for technology, clearing, administrative, oversight and custody services, which may vary. We also host certain advisor conferences that serve as training, education, sales and marketing events for which we charge sponsors a fee. Service and fee revenue for the year ended December 31, 2023 increased by $41.1 million compared to 2022, primarily due to increases in IRA
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custodian fees, business services and planning and advice services fees, and fees relating to confirmations and error and omission insurance.
Transaction
Transaction revenue includes transaction charges generated in both advisory and brokerage accounts from mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and fixed income products. Transaction revenue for the year ended December 31, 2023 increased by $18.7 million compared to 2022, primarily due to increases in the number of transactions and transaction charges for fixed income products, partially offset by a decrease in charges for managed assets.
Interest Income, net
We earn interest income primarily from client margin loans, client cash account (“CCA”) balances segregated under federal or other regulations and advisor repayable loans. Interest income, net for the year ended December 31, 2023 increased compared to 2022, primarily due to increases in interest earned on bank deposits, short-term U.S. treasury bills and margin loans, partially offset by an increase in interest paid on CCA balances.
Other
Other revenue primarily includes unrealized gains and losses on assets held by us in our advisor non-qualified deferred compensation plan and model research portfolios and other miscellaneous revenue, which is not generated from contracts with customers. Other revenue for the year ended December 31, 2023 increased by $205.6 million compared to 2022, primarily due to unrealized gains on assets held in our advisor non-qualified deferred compensation plan, which are based on the market performance of the underlying investment allocations chosen by advisors in the plan, and a related increase in dividend income on assets held in our advisor non-qualified deferred compensation plan.
Expense
Advisory and Commission
Advisory and commission expense consists of the following: payout amounts that are earned by and paid out to advisors and enterprises based on advisory and commission revenue earned on each client’s account, production-based bonuses earned by advisors and enterprises based on the levels of advisory and commission revenue they produce, compensation and benefits paid to employee advisors, share-based compensation expense from equity awards granted to advisors and enterprises based on the fair value of the awards at grant date and the deferred advisory and commission fee expense associated with mark-to-market gains or losses on the non-qualified deferred compensation plan offered to our advisors.
The following table sets forth our payout rate, which is a statistical or operating measure, for the periods presented:
Years Ended December 31,
20232022Change
Payout rate86.97 %87.32 %(35) bps
Our payout rate decreased for the year ended December 31, 2023 compared to 2022, primarily due to the effect of acquisitions during the year and changes in product mix.
Compensation and Benefits
Compensation and benefits expense includes salaries, wages, benefits, share-based compensation and related taxes for our employees, as well as compensation for temporary workers and contractors. The following table sets forth our average number of employees for the periods presented:
Years Ended December 31,
20232022% Change
Average number of employees7,6696,52418%
Compensation and benefits expense for the year ended December 31, 2023 increased by $158.9 million compared to 2022, primarily due to an increase in headcount.
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Promotional
Promotional expense includes business development costs related to advisor recruitment and retention, costs related to hosting certain advisory conferences that serve as training, sales and marketing events, and other costs that support advisor business growth. Promotional expense for the year ended December 31, 2023 increased by $119.2 million compared to 2022, primarily due to increases in recruited assets and advisors that led to higher costs to support transition assistance and retention.
Occupancy and Equipment
Occupancy and equipment expense includes the costs of leasing and maintaining our office spaces, software licensing and maintenance costs, and maintenance expense on computer hardware and other equipment. Occupancy and equipment expense for the year ended December 31, 2023 increased by $28.8 million compared to 2022, primarily due to increased expense related to software licenses and our technology portfolio.
Depreciation and Amortization
Depreciation and amortization expense relates to the use of property and equipment, which includes internally developed software, hardware, leasehold improvements and other equipment. Depreciation and amortization expense for the year ended December 31, 2023 increased by $47.2 million compared to 2022, primarily due to our continued investment in technology to support the integrations, enhance our advisor platform and experience, and support onboarding of enterprises.
Interest Expense on Borrowings
Interest expense on borrowings includes the interest associated with the Company’s senior notes, senior secured Term Loan B (“Term Loan B”) and revolving credit facilities; amortization of debt issuance costs; and fees associated with the Company’s revolving lines of credit. Interest expense on borrowings for the year ended December 31, 2023 increased by $60.6 million compared to 2022, primarily due to increases in interest rates associated with our Term Loan B and revolving credit facilities and higher outstanding debt balances. See Note 11 - Corporate Debt and Other Borrowings, Net, within the notes to the consolidated financial statements for further detail.
Amortization of Other Intangibles
Amortization of other intangibles represents the benefits received for the use of long-lived intangible assets established through our acquisitions. Amortization of other intangibles for the year ended December 31, 2023 increased by $19.7 million compared to 2022, primarily due to increases in intangible assets resulting from acquisitions. See Note 4 - Acquisitions and Note 9 - Goodwill and Other Intangibles, Net within the notes to the consolidated financial statements for further detail.
Brokerage, Clearing and Exchange
Brokerage, clearing and exchange expense includes expenses originating from trading or clearing operations as well as any exchange membership fees. These fees fluctuate largely in line with the volume of sales and trading activity. Brokerage, clearing and exchange expense for the year ended December 31, 2023 increased by $19.9 million compared to 2022, primarily due to an increase in the volume of trades and expenses for quote services.
Other Expense
Other expense includes the costs of the investigation, settlement and resolution of regulatory matters (including customer restitution and remediation), licensing fees, insurance, broker-dealer regulator fees, travel-related expenses and other miscellaneous expenses. Other expense depends in part on the size and timing of resolving regulatory matters and the availability of self-insurance coverage, which in turn depend in part on the amount and timing of resolving historical claims. Other expense for the year ended December 31, 2023 increased by $65.5 million compared to 2022, primarily due to a $40.0 million regulatory charge recognized in anticipation of a potential settlement with the SEC to resolve the civil investigation into compliance with records preservation requirements for business-related electronic communications stored on personal devices applicable to broker-dealer firms and investment advisors and a fair value adjustment to our contingent consideration liabilities. See Note 4 - Acquisitions and Note 14 - Commitments and Contingencies, within the notes to the consolidated financial statements for further detail.
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Provision for Income Taxes
Our effective income tax rate was 26.2% and 23.9% for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively. The increase in our effective tax rate for the year ended December 31, 2023 was primarily due to a decreased benefit from share-based compensation recognized during the year as well as an increase in non-deductible expenses due to the $40.0 million regulatory charge described above. See Note 14 - Commitments and Contingencies, within the notes to the consolidated financial statements for further detail.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
We have established liquidity and capital policies intended to support the execution of strategic initiatives, while meeting regulatory capital requirements and maintaining ongoing and sufficient liquidity. We believe liquidity is of critical importance to the Company and, in particular, to LPL Financial, our primary broker-dealer subsidiary. The objective of our policies is to ensure that we can meet our strategic, operational and regulatory liquidity and capital requirements under both normal operating conditions and under periods of stress in the financial markets.
Liquidity
Our liquidity needs are primarily driven by capital requirements at LPL Financial, interest due on our corporate debt and other capital returns to stockholders. Our liquidity needs at LPL Financial are driven primarily by the level and volatility of our client activity. Management maintains a set of liquidity sources and monitors certain business trends and market metrics closely in an effort to ensure we have sufficient liquidity. We believe that based on current levels of cash flows from operations and anticipated growth, together with available cash balances and external liquidity sources, we have adequate liquidity to satisfy our short-term and long-term working capital needs, the payment of all of our obligations and the funding of anticipated capital expenditures.
Parent Company Liquidity
LPL Holdings, Inc. (the “Parent”), the direct holding company of our operating subsidiaries, considers its primary sources of liquidity to be dividends from and excess capital generated by LPL Financial, as well as capacity for additional borrowing under its $2.0 billion secured revolving credit facility, which it has the ability to borrow against for working capital and general corporate purposes.
Dividends from and excess capital generated by LPL Financial are primarily generated through our cash flow from operations. Subject to regulatory approval or notification, capital generated by regulated subsidiaries can be distributed to the Parent to the extent the capital levels exceed regulatory requirements and internal capital thresholds. During the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022, LPL Financial paid dividends of $710.0 million and $1.1 billion to the Parent, respectively.
We believe Corporate Cash, a component of cash and equivalents, is a useful measure of the Parent’s liquidity as it represents the capital available for use in excess of the amount we are required to maintain pursuant to the Credit Agreement. Corporate Cash is the sum of cash and equivalents from the following: (1) cash and equivalents held at the Parent, (2) cash and equivalents held at regulated subsidiaries as defined by the Credit Agreement, which include LPL Financial and PTC, in excess of the capital requirements of the Credit Agreement (which, in the case of LPL Financial, is net capital in excess of 10% of its aggregate debits, or five times the net capital required in accordance with Exchange Act Rule 15c3-1) and (3) cash and equivalents held at non-regulated subsidiaries.
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The following table presents the components of Corporate Cash (in thousands):
December 31, 2023December 31, 2022
Cash and equivalents$465,671 $847,519 
Cash at regulated subsidiaries(410,313)(392,571)
Excess cash at regulated subsidiaries per the Credit Agreement128,327 4,439 
Corporate Cash$183,685 $459,387 
Corporate Cash
Cash at the Parent
$26,587 $448,180 
Excess cash at regulated subsidiaries per the Credit Agreement128,327 4,439 
Cash at non-regulated subsidiaries28,771 6,768 
Corporate Cash$183,685 $459,387 
Corporate Cash is monitored as part of our liquidity risk management. We target maintaining approximately $200 million in Corporate Cash, which covers approximately 12 months of principal and interest due on our corporate debt. The decrease in Corporate Cash during the year ended December 31, 2023 was driven primarily by investments in the business, including acquisitions and capital expenditures, and capital returns to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases offset by increases in cash resulting from operating activities and net borrowing.
We actively monitor changes to our liquidity needs caused by general business volumes and price volatility, including higher margin requirements of clearing corporations and exchanges, and stress scenarios involving a sustained market downturn and the persistence of current interest rates. We believe that based on current levels of operations and anticipated growth, our cash flow from operations, together with other available sources of funds, which include five uncommitted lines of credit, the revolving credit facility established through our Credit Agreement and the committed revolving credit facility of LPL Financial, will provide us with adequate liquidity to satisfy our short-term and long-term working capital needs, the payment of all of our obligations and the funding of anticipated capital expenditures.
We regularly evaluate our existing indebtedness, including potential issuances and refinancing opportunities, based on a number of factors, including our capital requirements, future prospects, contractual restrictions, the availability of refinancing on attractive terms and general market conditions. As of December 31, 2023, the earliest principal maturity date for our corporate debt with outstanding balances is in 2026 and our revolving credit facilities and uncommitted lines of credit mature between 2024 and 2026.
Share Repurchases
We engage in a share repurchase program that was approved by our Board, pursuant to which we may repurchase our issued and outstanding shares of common stock from time to time. Purchases may be effected in open market or privately negotiated transactions. Our current capital deployment framework remains focused on investing in organic growth first, pursuing acquisitions where appropriate and returning excess capital to stockholders. We repurchased 5,075,900 shares for a total of $1.1 billion for the year ended December 31, 2023. As of December 31, 2023 we had $900.0 million remaining under our existing repurchase program. The timing and amount of share repurchases, if any, is determined at our discretion within the constraints of our Credit Agreement, applicable laws and consideration of our general liquidity needs. See Note 15 - Stockholders’ Equity, within the notes to the consolidated financial statements for additional information regarding our share repurchases.
Common Stock Dividends
The payment, timing and amount of any dividends are subject to approval by the Board, as well as certain limits under our Credit Agreement. The Board approved an increase to the quarterly cash dividend to $0.30 per share beginning in the first quarter of 2023. See Note 15 - Stockholders’ Equity, within the notes to the consolidated financial statements for additional information regarding our dividends.



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LPL Financial Liquidity
LPL Financial relies primarily on client payables to fund margin lending. LPL Financial maintains additional liquidity through external lines of credit totaling $1.2 billion at December 31, 2023. LPL Financial also maintains a line of credit with the Parent.
External Liquidity Sources
The following table presents amounts outstanding and available under our external lines of credit at December 31, 2023 (in millions):
DescriptionBorrowerMaturity DateOutstandingAvailable
Senior secured, revolving credit facilityLPL Holdings, Inc.March 2026$280 $1,720 
Broker-dealer revolving credit facilityLPL Financial LLCJuly 2024$— $1,000 
Unsecured, uncommitted lines of creditLPL Financial LLC
None
$— $75 
Unsecured, uncommitted lines of creditLPL Financial LLCSeptember 2024$— $50 
Secured, uncommitted lines of creditLPL Financial LLCMarch 2025$— $75 
Secured, uncommitted lines of creditLPL Financial LLCNone$— unspecified