LPL Financial’s largest affiliated branch office, Private Advisor Group, said on Friday that Merchant Investment Management had taken a non-controlling minority stake in the firm.

Merchant Investment Management is a private partnership that invests in growth companies and other opportunities. According to its website, Merchant Investment Management this year has focused on investing in the wealth management industry.

It is the first outside investor for Private Advisor Group, which is based in Morristown, New Jersey, and has about 700 financial advisers with $30 billion in client assets. The firm recently has been ranked by Barron’s newspaper as a top ten RIA in the country.

Terms of the deal were not released, but the firm’s CEO, Robert “R.J.” Moore, said in an interview Tuesday morning that Merchant was not buying existing shares from partners, but investing growth capital into the firm.

That makes this type of investment different from private equity buyers, Moore said.

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