A longtime industry executive once expected to be LPL Financial’s next CEO has come back to lead the No. 1 independent broker-dealer’s largest hybrid RIA enterprise.
Robert “RJ” Moore will serve as chief executive of Private Advisor Group, which has more than 650 advisors with $21.7 billion in assets under management, the firm said on Nov. 18. The surprising announcement comes nearly two years after Moore stepped down as CEO of rival IBD network Cetera Financial Group for undisclosed medical reasons.
John Hyland and Pat Sullivan — the co-founders of Private Advisor — will remain in senior executive roles with the Morristown, New Jersey-based firm. Moore has also acquired substantial equity in the hybrid RIA-OSJ, though the parties didn’t disclose any of the financial terms of the deal.
“The opportunity to work with Pat and John in a much more focused way on advisors themselves, on the delivery of advice itself — that is the attractor,” Moore said in an interview. “It’s not about a job or position as much as a passion.”
Moore became CEO of Cetera in 2016, a few months before LPL picked then-president and former CFO Dan Arnold to take over as CEO from Mark Casady. Moore had previously served as CFO and president during his tenure with LPL from 2008 to 2015. Many had expected Moore to follow Casady as CEO. LPL issued a statement on Moore’s appointment.
Hyland and Sullivan are “are great partners who are actively steering Private Advisor Group through a period of solid growth and innovation,” said Andy Kalbaugh, LPL’s outgoing divisional president of national sales and consulting. “Bringing in a talented leader like RJ, with whom we have a long-standing relationship, will continue to propel the firm forward.”
Last December, Cetera promoted its president, Adam Antoniades, to replace Moore as CEO of the network. Another massive hybrid RIA-OSJ that followed Moore to Cetera from LPL in 2017, Ron Carson’s firm, remains affiliated with the private equity-backed rival. Cetera emerged from bankruptcy protection the year Moore joined the firm. He left early last year.
Representatives for Cetera didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Moore, 59, says he’s now “happy and healthy,” though he made a personal decision not to disclose his specific illness. Moore served as a general partner for a mortgage REIT launched last fall, though he told the industry news site Wealth Management that it wasn’t a full-time gig. He has since left that firm, Agency Mortgage REIT Capital Partners Income Fund, as well.
Hyland — whose company bio notes he has already beaten acute myeloid leukemia into remission three different times — tweeted in August that he had again been diagnosed with cancer. Sullivan says that Hyland completed his treatment a few weeks ago.
He’s “doing so well that he actually threatened to come to the office,” Sullivan says. “The doctors are just shaking their heads. They’re amazed at what he’s been able to accomplish.”
In addition to Moore, Hyland, and Sullivan, Private Advisor’s managing director ranks include Berta Aldrich, Jim Hooks, and Jim Perhacs, according to the firm’s website. With custodial relationships spanning Charles Schwab, Pershing, Fidelity, and SEI in addition to LPL, Private Advisor Group is a major and fast-growing recruiting force in the independent channel.
For example, Private Advisor’s largest team, Bleakley Financial Group, has recruited at least 18 advisors since 2018 to top more than $6 billion in client assets. Since Hyland and Sullivan launched the hybrid RIA in 2010, Private Advisor has grown to 55,000 clients and 38 states. When Hyland fully returns, he and Sullivan will focus on strategy, recruiting and relationships.
The firm has now added “someone who’s a visionary leader in this industry,” Sullivan says. “We think we’re in the exact right spot in the industry, and we think we’re going to achieve incredible results over the next three to five years.”