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Securities America loses $80M bank program to small broker-dealer

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First Federal Savings Bank of Champaign-Urbana has ditched Securities America as its longtime broker-dealer and moved its business to LaSalle St. Securities, a small firm based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

The Illinois bank wanted to deepen personal relationships with the individuals providing compliance oversight and back-office support to the bank's investment services business, which launched more than 25 years ago.
"After weighing many options, we decided that LaSalle St.'s approach, platform and engaged home office team would provide our practice the best opportunity to do just that," Larry Grill, the manager of the bank's investment services program, said in a statement.

The program consists of two advisors, including Grill, who manage more than $80 million in assets, according to LaSalle. It had used Securities America as its broker-dealer for almost 10 years.

First Federal Savings is the second bank whose investment services business LaSalle snatched from much larger rivals. In February, it grabbed the $100 million program of Kentucky-based L&N Federal Credit Union from Invest Financial.

LaSalle has also lured away five teams of independent advisors with $270 million in assets from Securities America over the past year, according to the firm.

"We've seen a steady flow of advisors who have chosen to move their practices to LaSalle St. over the last 12 months, not only from Securities America, but from many other firms as well," Mark Contey, LaSalle's senior vice president of business development, said in a statement.

First Federal Savings is based in Champaign, Illinois, and operates through its administrative branch office in Champaign and through one other full-service branch in Urbana, Illinois. It opened in 1908 as a mutual savings institution.

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