CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 27, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LPL Financial LLC, a leading retail investment advisory firm, RIA custodian and independent broker-dealer, today announced that financial advisors Mike Ashworth CFP®, Steve Collie CFP® and Katheryn Gordon have launched Ashworth Financial Group with support from LPL Strategic Wealth Services, a new affiliation model designed to support the unique needs of established wirehouse- or employee channel-based advisors seeking independence. The team will leverage LPL’s broker-dealer, corporate registered investment advisor (RIA) and custodial platforms, while also leveraging the firm for ongoing business management services and support. The team reported having served approximately $300 million in brokerage, advisory and retirement plan assets*. They join from Wells Fargo Advisors.

Ashworth, the firm’s founder and managing director, entered the industry in 1998, right out of college. He established his business in Raleigh, N.C., and later put down roots in Tryon, N.C., a place where he immediately felt a deep connection to the community. More than 20 years later, he has launched his independent business, ready to have increased control over his clients’ experience and create his own destiny.

“Going independent is a big move that ultimately brings more responsibility for me as a business owner,” said Ashworth, who spent ample time looking for the right alternative to gain more freedom and control over his business. “With the services LPL has assembled, it created a clear path to independence. It finally felt like the time was right to do something different for my clients going forward. With the business management support from LPL, I can focus on what I enjoy most, which is managing investments and helping my clients work toward their financial goals and dreams.”

At Ashworth Financial Group, advisors get to know and understand each client’s unique financial situation before creating a customized, financial plan and comprehensive strategies to address individual goals. With assistance from Lisa Murphy, director of client relations, the advisors take a team approach to help clients with a variety of needs. “Operating with honesty and integrity with our clients’ best interest at heart continues to be our ultimate goal. That’s why we decided to launch an independent practice on the LPL Financial platform. We’ll be able to expand our offerings with the ability to offer objective financial advice,” Ashworth said.

By aligning with LPL Strategic Wealth Services, the team benefited from the personalized support of a dedicated launch team to help with sourcing real estate, brand development and other aspects of starting a small business. Now that the business is in place, they maintain an ongoing relationship with a team of specialized partners to assist with the day-to-day operation of the business, including office administration, technology support, marketing strategy and campaign execution and financial management.

“The business management support is huge, especially having help to set up benefits and payroll services and having a CFO to create business strategies for the business and then keep us on track to our goals,” Ashworth said. He also credited LPL’s integrated technology as another driver of his move to the platform—specifically the use of DocuSign’s e-signature capabilities to eliminate paperwork during the account transition process.

“I’m excited about change and new possibilities with this next chapter, and I am confident this is a great move for our team and my clients,” said Ashworth, a father of four and a member of the Polk County School Board. “We want to make an impact, both in our community and clients’ lives.”

Rich Steinmeier, LPL Financial managing director and divisional president, Business Development, said, “It is our privilege to welcome Mike, Katheryn and Steve to the LPL family as the first firm to partner with LPL Strategic Wealth Services. Established advisors who want to transition into business ownership face a unique set of challenges. The model is designed to give more advisors access to independence by removing the barriers they face, while elevating the overall experience associated with owning their business. By providing a sophisticated, comprehensive platform, with ongoing business management services and support, and a single relationship with LPL, advisors can build a business they envision for themselves and their clients. We look forward to a long-lasting relationship with Ashworth Financial Group.”

For more on Ashworth Financial Group, visit the team’s website. Read about other firms that recently joined LPL in the LPL Financial News and Media section of LPL.com.

Advisors, find an LPL business development representative near you.

About LPL Financial
LPL Financial (https://www.lpl.com) is a leader in the retail financial advice market and the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer**. We serve independent financial advisors, professionals, and financial institutions, providing them with the technology, research, clearing and compliance services, and practice management programs they need to create and grow thriving practices. LPL enables them to provide objective guidance to millions of American families seeking wealth management, retirement planning, financial planning and asset management solutions.

Securities and Advisory services offered through LPL Financial LLC, a registered investment advisor. Member FINRA / SIPC.

Ashworth Financial Group and LPL Financial are separate entities.

*Based on prior business and represents assets that would have been custodied at LPL Financial, rather than third-party custodians. Reported assets and client numbers have not been independently and fully verified by LPL Financial.

**Based on total revenues, Financial Planning magazine June 1996-2019

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