The mystery of just who might be willing to buy Securities America from Amerprise may be on the edge of clearing up -- with venerable firm Ladenburg Thalmann emerging as the front runner.
Officially, Securities America and its parent are silent when it comes to speculating about a possible buyer. After all, there's not much sense in alerting the markets to the news before the papers are signed.
But recruiters say Securities America advisors are hearing that Ladenburg or one of its affiliates -- Triad Advisors or Investacorp -- has come to the negotiating table.
Why the firm would leak its prospective acquisition partners to its 1,900-advisor network and not to Wall Street remains an open question.
If retention is an issue, simply acknowledging that there's a likely buyer out there achieves the goal of keeping Securities America affiliates from leaving, without the liability involved in naming actual names.
Still, in a story where the biggest development has been LPL refusing to buy what some see as a distressed franchise, even the news that somebody out there is interested in Securities America is progress, and maybe a step toward resolution.