LPL Financial is creating a new IT hub on the East Coast, with plans to add up to 100 jobs at the center by the end of next year. The nation's largest independent investment broker-dealer says its new IT hub will be located in Charlotte, N.C., and closely match its main IT hub in San Diego. During this year alone, LPL's Charlotte hub plans to hire 50 IT professionals, which will include developers, project managers and other IT folks.  They'll be joining the rest of LPL's Charlotte staff, which currently stands at 800.

LPL's Challenge

In the past, LPL was viewed as under-investing in technology and faced being eclipsed by competitors in that area. Customer complaints focused on its versions of Salesforce and its financial-planning software MoneyGuidePro, says Davis Janowski, who covers technology at InvestmentNews. LPL Financial offers proprietary technology and services to more than 12,900 financial advisers and serves approximately 680 financial institutions.

North Carolina's Tech Scene 

The addition of LPL's technology hub in Charlotte may help offset a recent month-to-month decline in IT job openings in North Carolina. In May, the state reportedly had 5,080 IT job openings, which was down 7.8 percent from the previous month, a North Carolina Technology Association report says.  The biggest decline for IT workers came from the defense sector, but increased hiring in financial services helped minimize those losses. On an annual basis, however, IT job openings in North Carolina increased substantially by 15.7 percent in May, compared to year ago figures. Part of that improvement comes from Raleigh, which ranked No. 1 on Dice's list of the fastest-growing tech job markets.

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