Derek Bruton, the executive in charge of the 13,600 representatives and financial advisers at LPL Financial, has suddenly resigned.
His title was managing director for independent adviser services.
LPL “permitted (Mr.) Bruton to resign, effective immediately, in light of the company's concerns about Mr. Bruton's interactions with other employees,” the company said in a filing late Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. His separation was not related to the company's performance, LPL said.
LPL spokeswoman Betsy Weinberger said the company planned to fill the position internally.
“We anticipate announcing this new leader by the end of next week,” she said.
Mr. Bruton, who joined LPL in 2007 from TD Ameritrade Inc., worked on expanding LPL's hybrid broker business.
He has been a literally towering presence for LPL at industry meetings.
A former college basketball player for Stanford, Mr. Bruton stands 6' 9”.
He answered directly to Robert Moore, president of LPL Financial, who in turn reports to chief executive Mark Casady.
Mr. Bruton's exit came as a surprise to advisers as he attended the March meeting for LPL's top producers in Monte Carlo, according to two advisers who asked not to be identified.
(See what hurt LPL's recruiting recently.)
An e-mail to Mr. Bruton at LPL on Friday was returned with an automatic reply, “I am out of the office starting March 25. If this is an urgent matter, please contact [Mr.] Moore, and he will be able to assist you.”
(See also: LPL launches consulting group for large independent advisers)
Mr. Bruton's final Tweet on March 24, had the headline, “How to nail your next speaking engagement.”
He was one of the highest paid executives at LPL, with $1.45 million in total compensation last year, according to the company's proxy statement from March.
Prior to joining LPL Financial in 2007, Mr. Bruton had a number of senior management positions at TD Ameritrade, Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. and The Charles Schwab Corp.