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Small broker-dealer grabs $100M credit union program from Invest Financial

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L&N Federal Credit Union has abandoned Invest Financial as its third-party broker-dealer and moved its business to LaSalle St. Securities, a small firm based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

The Kentucky-based credit union was looking for a boutique-style firm following Invest's acquisition by LPL, LaSalle said. It had been with Invest for four years.

"After an extensive due diligence process with many firms, we simply felt that the team at LaSalle St. would provide the type of support model and platform that we needed and were looking for," Grael Barker, vice president of financial services at L&N, said in statement.
Barker also noted that the credit union wanted a broker-dealer that would allow it to have greater control over its business.

L&N employs three advisors who manage more than $100 million in client assets. Its investment services business launched in the late 1980s.

L&N's decision to opt for a small broker-dealer is unusual as approximately 90% of all banks and credit unions selling investments affiliate with large firms, according to data from consulting firm Kehrer Bielan Research and Consulting.

LaSalle has relationships with about a dozen financial institutions, but its main business is supporting and servicing the practices of independent financial advisors, it said.

Small broker-dealer shops might appeal to banks and credit unions that want to be one of a few clients rather than one of many, said Ken Kehrer, principal of Kehrer Bielan. L&N, for example, may have preferred to be one of just 12 clients instead of one in more than 100, as was the case when it was on Invest's platform.

"It increases its stature and maybe makes the credit union feel it has more leverage or influence with the broker dealer," Kehrer said.

L&N serves customers throughout the Southern and Midwestern regions of the country. It was established in 1954 to serve railroad workers in Louisville, Kentucky.

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