LPL Financial’s program to train and coach bank program managers has seen significant early success as the Boston-based company continues to find innovative ways to increase sales through the bank channel.

LPL said the 18 participants, who collectively manage 159 bank advisors, in the inaugural class of its Sales Manager Coaching Program reported a 21% increase in gross dealer concessions 65% higher than those of LPL’s bank clients that did not participate in the program.

Arthur Osman, a senior vice president of business consulting for LPL’s institution services group, said in an interview that the participants in the program, which ran for 24 months, reported improved sales for both top producers and lower-tier producers.

“There is really a dearth of support, curriculum and training for bank program managers,” Osman said. “We want to support the leaders and give them the tools and support to help their advisor staff.”

LPL’s program offered one-one-one coaching conversations on a monthly basis and monthly “Accountability Team” meetings with a subgroup of four to five program managers.

Jim Campone, a senior vice president at NBT Bank in Norwich, N.Y., said he was drawn to the program because he wanted to help improve his team’s performance. NBT’s wealth management arm, NBT Financial Group, has worked with LPL since 2002 and has $4 billion in assets under management, but Campone wanted to expand those assets.

“Most coaching programs focus on the advisors, but this was different,” he said. “If you think about it, most people become program managers because they were good at sales. But being a great salesman doesn’t mean you are going to be a great manager. LPL gave us the support we needed.”

Orman said LPL wants the program to help it improve sales and relationships through the bank channel.

“We believe financial institutions have a competitive advantage in regard to trust from members and customers,” he said. “We think there is a lot of synergy.”

Orman said the majority of participants from the inaugural class continue to meet with members of the their subgroup. “Its really taken on a life of its own,” he said.

LPL plans to launch the second class on June 13 with 23 participants. He said the program is expected to run for 12 months this time. Orman said the long-term goal of the training program is to “fill a void that we see in the industry.”

“We want to keep training the managers,” he said. “I am comfortable saying at this point that we are committed to helping program managers succeed.”

LPL has relationships with 680 banks and credit unions. Last month, it hired industry veteran Robert Comfort as an executive vice president of business consulting for LPL’s institution services division. Comfort, who spent 17 years at Huntington Bank running its wealth management businesses, will be responsible for serving the banks and credit union to which LPL provides banking, trust and wealth management services.


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