From Study Group to National Network

The Evolution of a Business Network

Network 1.0

The Financial Services Network was founded in 1984 as a study group of top advisors brought together by our founder and chairman emeritus, Jim Herrington, to exchange ideas and share best practices. Jim identified the need for independent financial planners and investment advisors to network with their peers, and in creating the original Network, he drew on his personal production experience. His unique vision attracted other top producers who shared a common bond of excellence and the desire to elevate their practices.

Throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s, The Network was the largest branch office with FSC – an AIG Broker Dealer (BD) – until it moved to Associated Securities (ASC) in late 2008. In late 2009, LPL consolidated three Pershing-based BD’s, including ASC, into the main LPL BD.

During the initial move to ASC in 2008, Jim Herrington asked Daxs Stadjuhar to join The Network as President & CEO to lead the organization. In 2011, Christopher Mercado left LPL Financial as the Regional Advisory Consultant and joined the Network to spearhead business development. In 2015, Jeremy Olen merged his investment management firm into The Network to begin building the future portfolio consulting and virtual administrative services of the firm. The Network was expanding and was ready to execute its next evolution of growth.

Network 2.0

In 2016, Daxs Stadjuhar, Christopher Mercado, and Jeremy Olen purchased The Network and shepherded the firm into a new era. The firm officially rolled out Virtual Administration and Technology Consulting services to its advisors. Christopher Mercado expanded Business Transitions to provide a team of resources, helping advisors move towards or improve their current state of independence. Jeremy Olen expanded the suite of Portfolio Consulting services to offer custom models, based on the needs of Advisors and their clients’ individual portfolios. From 2016 to 2021, the firm has continued to acquire key talent, infrastructure, technology, and strategic partnerships to methodically grow.

Network 3.0

In December 2021, the leadership team at The Network embarked on a project to evolve the organization. This business plan included bringing more resources to its existing Advisor base, the ability to invest alongside Advisors to grow their businesses, and a focus on mergers and acquisitions inside and outside The Network. The conclusion of this process was the discovery of a unique business and cultural alignment with Mariner Platform Solutions and Marty Bicknell as the leadership of Mariner Team. The combined resources of both organizations – the focus on the independent advisor business model, as well as the cultural fit – was unprecedented. The collaboration served as part of an expansion of Mariner Platform Solutions and served The Network’s mission to bring best-in-class resources to its Advisors.

The Network Today

Today, Mariner Advisor Network is an RIA firm that supports its investment advisor representatives, independent advisors affiliated with an OSJ of LPL Financial’s broker dealer, and corporate RIA, as well as a distribution arm for resources that that support independent financial advisors. These resources include administrative support, investment consulting, paraplanning, proposal generation, and other services directly catered to financial advisors.

All securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisors may offer investment advisory services through either Mariner Advisor Network, a Registered Investment Advisor, or LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Mariner Advisor Network is a separate entity from LPL Financial.

Over the decades, we continue to evolve our mission and purpose, and to enhance our services to meet the needs of today’s Independent Advisor community.

Access Education. Gain Support. Experience Growth.


The Network started as a study group of Advisors sharing best practices, working to elevate their individual practices to higher levels. Today, we continue to host regular events to facilitate the exchange of ideas and encourage peer-to-peer collaboration.


The Network’s roots are in education. We continue this tradition by providing our affiliates access to thought leadership and education regarding topics that are front of mind every day including: Practice management, investments, compliance, operations, marketing and more.


Advisors can ask us for ask for help with more than daily operations. Their out-of-the-box questions create opportunities for us to incubate ideas, bring in experts, and collaborate with our strategic alliances for help in finding solutions on behalf of our affiliated advisors.


Our Advisors have access to a deep well of intellectual capital and thought leaders, both within the industry and beyond. We regularly hold both virtual and in-person events that put you directly in front of industry leaders, allowing you to stay ahead of the curb while strengthening your knowledge base. We can even connect you with the right specialists for one-on-one insight and inspiration.


Through our events, webinars, personal phone calls and office visits, our Business Development and Consulting teams are in front of our Advisors dozens of times a year, providing high-level coaching, guidance, and advice to help them put the pieces together to help create successful practices.


The support we offer at The Network is unique and customized to meet your goals. We want to help you and feel productive – like your professional life is in your hands. We can assess your efficiencies and analyze your approach. We can provide resources and answers that allow you to take back your time and spend it on your clients, your family – and yourself.

The Future: Building Tomorrow Together

As any company looks to the future, it cannot forget its past. The future goals of The Network are two-fold: work diligently to meet our internal growth goals by adding quality advisors who benefit from our resources, and maintain the principles we have stood on to advocate for our advisors.

Numbers are oftentimes the easiest way to measure progress toward accomplishing a goal, but our philosophy has always been to look past the numbers and ask: what did those numbers allow us to do? How did previous growth impact investment into the services we currently provide? How we continue to thoughtfully expand and meet the needs our advisors are requiring?

Our Promise

When you partner with The Network, we will keep you informed of our growth and evolution within our changing industry. At routine meetings, you will be apprised of our business plans, the continued development of our Network team, our accomplishments, and our goals for the future. We strive to provide transparency in every engagement, and integrity at every level of service.