Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Description of Business and Basis of Presentation

Description of Business and Basis of Presentation
6 Months Ended
Jun. 30, 2019
Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements [Abstract]  
Description of Business and Basis of Presentation
Description of Business and Basis of Presentation

Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. (the “Company” or “LTS”) is a holding company. Its principal operating subsidiaries are Securities America, Triad Advisors (‘‘Triad’’), Investacorp, KMS Financial Services (“KMS”), Securities Service Network (“SSN”), Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. (‘‘Ladenburg’’), Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management (‘‘LTAM’’), Premier Trust (‘‘Premier Trust’’) and Highland Capital Brokerage (“Highland”).

Securities America, Triad, Investacorp, KMS and SSN are registered investment advisors and broker-dealers that serve the independent financial advisor community. The independent financial advisors of these independent advisory and brokerage firms primarily serve retail clients. Such entities derive revenue from advisory fees and commissions, primarily from the sale of mutual funds, variable annuity products and other financial products and services.

Ladenburg is a full service registered broker-dealer that has been a member of the New York Stock Exchange since 1879. Broker-dealer activities include sales and trading and investment banking. Ladenburg provides its services principally to middle-market and emerging growth companies and high net worth individuals through a coordinated effort among corporate finance, capital markets, brokerage and trading professionals.

LTAM is a registered investment advisor. It offers various asset management products utilized by Ladenburg and Premier Trust’s clients, as well as clients of the Company's independent financial advisors.

Premier Trust, a Nevada trust company, provides wealth management services, including administration of personal trusts and retirement accounts, estate and financial planning and custody services.

Highland is an independent insurance broker that delivers life insurance, fixed and equity indexed annuities and long-term care solutions to investment and insurance providers. Highland provides specialized point-of-sale support along with advanced marketing and estate and business planning techniques, delivering customized insurance solutions to both institutional clients and independent producers. Highland also provides marketing strategies, product expertise, and back-office processing for fixed and equity-indexed annuities.

Securities America's, Triad's, Investacorp's, KMS's, SSN's and Ladenburg's customer transactions are cleared through clearing brokers on a fully-disclosed basis and such entities are subject to regulation by, among others, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board. Each entity is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. Highland is subject to regulation by various regulatory bodies, including state attorneys general and insurance departments. Premier Trust is subject to regulation by the Nevada Department of Business and Industry Financial Institutions Division.

Basis of Presentation

The condensed consolidated financial statements are unaudited and have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) for interim financial information and with the instructions to Form 10-Q and Article 10 of Regulation S-X. In the opinion of management, the interim data includes all adjustments, consisting of normal recurring adjustments, necessary for a fair statement of the results for the periods presented. Because of the nature of the Company’s business, interim period results may not be indicative of full year or future results.

The unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements do not include all information and notes required in annual audited financial statements in conformity with GAAP. The statement of financial condition at December 31, 2018 has been derived from the audited financial statements at that date, but does not include all of the information and notes required by GAAP for complete financial statement presentation. Please refer to the notes to the audited consolidated financial statements included in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018 for additional disclosures and a description of accounting policies.
Certain amounts in the prior period financial statements were reclassified to conform with the current period financial statement presentation.

New Accounting Standards Adopted

In February 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842), which supersedes the existing guidance for lease accounting, Leases (Topic 840). ASU 2016-02 requires lessees to recognize leases on their balance sheets, and leaves lessor accounting largely unchanged. The Company adopted the provisions of Topic 842 on January 1, 2019, using the modified retrospective approach and the option presented under ASU 2018-11 to transition only active leases as of January 1, 2019. All comparative periods prior to January 1, 2019 are not adjusted and continue to be reported in accordance with Topic 840.

The Company elected to utilize the transition package of practical expedients permitted within the new standard, which among other things, allowed the Company to carryforward the historical lease classification. The Company made an accounting policy election to keep leases with an initial term of 12 months or less off the Company’s Consolidated Statements of Financial Condition which resulted in recognizing those lease payments in the Consolidated Statements of Operations on a straight-line basis over the lease term. The Company did not elect the hindsight practical expedient when determining the lease terms.

Adoption of the new standard resulted in the recording of right-of-use assets and corresponding lease liabilities of $36,522 and $39,483, respectively, as of January 1, 2019. The difference between the right-of-use assets and the lease liabilities was recorded to eliminate existing deferred rent balances recorded under Topic 840. The adoption of the new standard did not materially impact the Company's Consolidated Statements of Operations and had no impact on the Company's Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows. The Company's current lease arrangements expire through 2030. See Note 4 for further information.

In June 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-07, Compensation - Stock Compensation: Improvements to Nonemployee Share-Based Payment Accounting, which simplifies the accounting for share-based payments granted to nonemployees by aligning the accounting with the requirements for employee share-based compensation. ASU 2018-07 is effective for fiscal years, and for interim periods within those fiscal years, beginning after December 15, 2018, with early adoption permitted. The adoption of ASU 2018-07 was effective January 1, 2019 and did not have any impact on the consolidated financial statements.

Accounting Standards Issued, But Not Yet Effective

In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-13, Financial Instruments - Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments. This ASU amends the requirement on the measurement and recognition of expected credit losses for financial assets held.  The ASU is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2019 and interim periods within those annual periods. Early adoption is permitted, but not earlier than annual and interim periods beginning after December 15, 2018. This amendment should be applied on a modified retrospective basis with a cumulative effect adjustment to retained earnings as of the beginning of the period of adoption. The Company is in the process of assessing the impact of this ASU on its consolidated financial statements.

In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU 2017-04, Intangibles-Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): Simplifying the Test for Goodwill Impairment, an amendment to simplify the subsequent quantitative measurement of goodwill by eliminating step two from the goodwill impairment test. As amended, an entity will recognize an impairment charge for the amount by which the carrying amount of a reporting unit exceeds its fair value, not to exceed the total amount of goodwill allocated to the reporting unit. An entity still has the option to perform the qualitative test for a reporting unit to determine if the quantitative impairment test is necessary. This amendment is effective for annual or interim goodwill impairment tests in fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019 and applies prospectively. Early adoption is permitted, including in an interim period, for impairment tests performed after January 1, 2017. The Company has not elected to early adopt ASU 2017-04. The adoption of this guidance is not expected to have a material impact on the Company's consolidated financial statements.

In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-13, Fair Value Measurement (Topic 820), Disclosure Framework - Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Fair Value Measurements. This ASU eliminates, adds and modifies certain disclosure requirements for fair value measurements.

The update eliminates the requirement to disclose the amount of and reasons for transfers between Level 1 and Level 2 of the fair value hierarchy, and introduces a requirement to disclose the range and weighted average used to develop significant unobservable inputs for Level 3 fair value measurements. This guidance will be effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those fiscal years, beginning after December 15, 2019. The Company plans to adopt this new accounting standard on January 1, 2020. Adoption is not expected to have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements and related disclosures.