But in truth, tension had been building in the executive suite, insiders say. And Moore's departure, they add, seemed to be the result of an internal rivalry with the man who replaced Moore as president:
Moore, 53, was a financial services veteran who had just completed two years as CEO of
Moore was brought in as chief financial officer, but was clearly a take-charge executive — accompanying CEO
The widespread impression inside the company, say current and former LPL executives and advisors, was that Moore clearly expected to succeed Casady as CEO — with Casady's tacit, if not explicit, blessing. Both men declined comment.
ANOTHER RISING STAR
But Moore wasn't the only rising star at LPL.
Arnold, now 50, had built a stellar reputation and following as president and chief operating officer of
He replaced Moore as CFO in 2012, playing an increasingly more visible role. He also emerged as LPL's point person with
Arnold — who declined to be interviewed — also developed a reputation as a strong behind the scenes numbers man and analytical strategist, while Moore was seen as the personable, outgoing, client-facing champion of the advisor.
"Advisors, and clients alike, really gravitated to
There was another issue in play as well: If Moore believed Casady would soon step back to become a non-acting chairman, he was mistaken.
"I've known Mark for 25 years, and his passion is as high today as it's ever been," says
The combination of Arnold's ascendency and Casady's staying put may have fostered tensions between Moore and Casady, some current and former executives say.
In either case, "there was a falling out" in the executive ranks, says one former high-level executive who asked not to be named.
Moore informed Casady and the board that he was leaving to become the new chief executive of institutional asset management firm
"I think Robert was brought in to become CEO [of LPL]," says Carson, who this week named Moore to join the executive board of
CHALLENGES FOR ARNOLD
Moore is hardly the only high-level executive who has left the firm in recent years — sometimes raising a few eyebrows on the way out. The list includes not only Dwyer but also
Yet his departure may create a challenge for the company.
While "great with numbers," Arnold — who studied engineering and has an M.B.A. in finance from
Recruiting will indeed be Arnold's "No. 1 challenge" says LPL branch office manager
Ironically, another major challenge for Arnold is "not having another
"Dan has all of the skill sets, but he doesn't have client relationships, and it's a relationship business," the executive says. "He needs to get out in the field as soon and as often as possible to maintain relations with important clients and advisors."
FOCUS ON BANKING
Arnold's banking background with Uvest may be a sign of things to come at LPL.
"Large financial institutions are going to play an enormous role in serving the masses over the next 10 years and LPL wants a footprint in that business," Freedman says. "The banking side is Dan's specialty."
Webster worked closely with Arnold when he ran Uvest and followed the firm to LPL, Howe says. "What struck us about Dan was how advisor-focused he was and his thirst to provide advisors what they needed to succeed," Howe says. "As president he'll be responsible for customer-facing people, and that is getting back to his roots."
MAKING HIS CASE
Arnold is already making his case to LPL's annual summit meeting of top advisors this week in
That leaves a few other items on his to-do list: meeting the expectations of the rest of the firm's 14,000-plus advisors, facing earnings pressure from
And, of course, he'll be measured against his predecessor as he does so.
"Robert was able to connect with advisors, had relentless energy, could grasp granular details and make decisions based on what he saw in the trenches," says Carson. "I'm hoping Dan has the same ability — but it's way too early to know."
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