We have exciting news to share with you! Just as Tom Brady decided to leave the only professional team he has ever played for to start a new journey with a new team, we have decided to leave LPL Financial and join a new team. We have decided to partner with the Institutional arm of Fidelity Investments. We are not becoming Fidelity employees, but rather using Fidelity Institutional Services as the platform to hold and allow us to manage advisory accounts. We continue to maintain a similar relationship with Charles Schwab. For brokerage accounts such as annuities, or 529 plans, we have partnered with Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments (PKS) based in Albany, New York. PKS utilizes the clearing services of National Financial Services (NFS) a Fidelity Company. Utilizing both companies will enable us to continue offering you the service you have become accustomed to.
I am sure many of you are asking why we made the switch. There are many reasons. The main reason is that we feel it is in your best interest. These new relationships give us greater flexibility and a broader investment platform. We will have direct access to more in-depth research. We will have access to more tools and technology. As you know we have recently contracted two cutting edge software providers, BlackDiamond and RightCapital, to provide you with top of the line tools that help you understand the history and potential future of your portfolio. Both allow you to include accounts that we are managing for you as well as your 401k, 403b, bank accounts and any other account that you have. The BlackDiamond system will store your LPL account history and provide continuous performance information.
Both new organizations are smaller than LPL Financial based on the number of representatives. LPL now has more than 17,000 representatives. The institutional arm of Fidelity currently services only 300 offices nationwide with 3,900 advisors. Charles Schwab and Fidelity are the number 1 and number 2 institutional custodians based on assets. Working with both gives us access to the best research, support and tools that the industry has to offer. The access to PKS will affect only a few of you. PKS will only be used for investments held outside of an advisory account.
We have been with LPL for a long time, nearly 35 years, so this change was not made lightly. We reviewed our options, and there were many. We interviewed and questioned the best of the possible alternatives. In the end we feel excited about the opportunity in this next evolution of Bickling Financial Services. There will be some work to get there, but we are excited to start this journey.
What is not changing is our commitment to serve you. The advisor or team you’ve been working with will still be your team. Our phone numbers, email addresses, and physical address remain the same. Please don’t hold on to questions – ask away. We’re available by phone, email, or video conference. Someday we hope to see you in our office again. There will be more information to come about the conversion process, paperwork, and timing. Our goal is to convert all accounts by the end of September so that accounts that had been at LPL will be at Fidelity Institutional for all of the fourth quarter. Right now, we wanted to let you know about this decision and to let you know that we look forward to continuing to serve you. Our plan is that most of the paperwork required to complete this transition can be signed electronically. Please keep an eye out for future emails from us regarding the transition.