LaSalle St, a family of wealth management firms encompassing independent broker-dealer and registered investment adviser (RIA) platforms, has added Retirement Planning Specialists, an investment advisory practice in the Philadelphia area with USD200 million in total client assets, to its corporate RIA platform, LaSalle St Investment Advisors.
Led by CEO and Founder Joe Sarappo, Retirement Planning Specialists focuses on helping individual investors and families save for retirement, as well as providing estate, tax and life insurance planning services. The practice was an independent SEC-registered RIA before Sarappo, a 33-year veteran of the financial advice space, and his three fellow investment advisors at Retirement Planning Specialists decided to join LaSalle St as investment adviser representatives (IARs.)
Mark Contey, LaSalle St’s Chief Business Development Officer, says: “LaSalle St is truly gratified that Joe Sarappo, Christopher Sacco, James Cuorato and Kyle Jennings have taken this strategic step to join our RIA platform. Our team has considerable expertise in helping firms that previously operated their own RIAs or even broker-dealers to streamline their operations and get back to what they love about the business: Serving clients. As part of the LaSalle St. platform, Retirement Planning Specialists now has access to resources, technologies and platforms that will enable them to scale up their efficiency and focus on adding even greater value for their clients. We look forward to working shoulder-to-shoulder with Joe and his team for years to come.”
As part of the transition, Retirement Planning Specialists has withdrawn its SEC registration, but it will maintain its brand and independence. The firm’s client accounts will continue to be custodied with Fidelity through LaSalle St’s existing relationship with that firm. In order to continue to serve the small number of brokerage accounts in their book, Sarappo and Sacco have also affiliated with LaSalle St’s broker-dealer platform.
Sarappo says: “Since I started Retirement Planning Specialists in 2011, my attention has centered squarely on building trust with my clients and helping them live the lives they aspire to in retirement through solid preparation and planning. Over the years, however, as the economic and regulatory dynamics around operating an RIA have grown more complex, I have found myself devoting more hours in the day to running the business, rather than serving our clients. LaSalle St and its RIA platform, LaSalle St Investment Advisors, offer scale and resources that will lift significant administrative burdens off our shoulders, allowing our team to enhance our client focus again. Moreover, the LaSalle St team is committed to collaborating closely with us to further elevate the client experience we offer and accelerate our growth trajectory. We could not be more excited to join the team.”
Contey says: “Though the economics of running an independent RIA remain generally favourable, many firms are realising that they can better achieve their full potential while maintaining their independence if they ‘tuck in’ as IARs under a larger corporate RIA platform. LaSalle St stands ready to collaborate with such firms that are contemplating the next step in their growth strategy, and we are eager to get to work with Retirement Planning Specialists to support them in achieving their goals for the future.”