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LPL snatches Bell Bank from Cetera

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Bell Bank has moved its investment services program to LPL Financial after a 10-year relationship with Cetera.

The Fargo, North Dakota-based bank is looking to leverage LPL's research and technology platform as it follows through on its strategy to grow the brokerage program, according to LPL's announcement on Thursday.

"LPL stood out for us for its overall offering," Patrick Chaffee, managing director of Bell Bank Wealth Management, said in a statement. "The investments that LPL has made in their platforms enhanced the firm's value to us as well."
The bank's retail brokerage operation employs 12 advisers and has approximately $780 million in advisory and brokerage assets, according to Bell Bank. The overall wealth management division has nearly $6 billion in assets, the bank says.

Bell Bank has used Cetera as its third-party broker-dealer since the program was established in 2007 with three advisers, according to LPL.

The bank claims it is the largest independently owned bank in the upper Midwest and one of the largest in the nation.

"We are excited to be able to provide our range and depth of resources and tools that will help them as they work toward their goals," said Craig Kamis, executive vice president in LPL's Institutional Business Development unit.

This is the second major coup for LPL this year. In January, it snagged First Interstate Bank, also from Cetera. First Interstate's investment services program has 40 financial consultants and approximately $810 million in advisory and brokerage assets.

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