LPL Financial welcomes new owners

Charlie Denison

Retired LPL Financial Advisor John Carlson, center, shakes hands with Mike Mellows, Lewistown’s new LPL Financial Advisor. Mike’s son, Colten (far right), is partnering up with his dad as a fellow financial advisor.  Carlson retired Dec. 30, 2016, but it is staying on for six months to help with the transition.
Photo by Charlie Denison

Although still suffering some “withdrawal pains,” LPL Financial Advisor John Carlson has called it a career after more than 25 years in the Lewistown office.

“It’s time,” he said. “I’m ready to ‘kick the tires.’”

Upon announcing his retirement, interested parties started calling, but it was Mike Mellows and his son, Colten, Carlson said he felt were the best fit.

“Four different opportunities presented themselves to me, and I believe Mike and his son put clients first and I’m confident they will serve all their clients well in their financial lives.”

Mike, who first met Carlson at a business conference 13 years ago, said he appreciates the praise and the chance to follow in Carlson’s footsteps.

“It’s a great opportunity for both of us,” said Mike, who had been working out of Reno, Nevada. “I’ve worked for LPL Financial 13 years and I have worked in the business for 30 years. Colten has a year in the business and, technology-wise, he’s a lot better than us old, decrepit guys.”

It’s also an honor to be the ones to carry on for Carlson, Mike added.

“John is a great guy and really respected in the community,” he said. “This is a fine business he’s put together, and we feel fortunate to be the ones to carry it on.”

Mike and Colten are focused on the future, but they are also focused on the clients, Carlson said, and that’s what matters.

“My overriding objective has been to find someone who tries to put clients first, self second,” he said. “The client comes first in every situation.”

Carlson said he believes the Mellows have these values and approach the job with integrity, which he values greatly.

The Mellows officially took over the business Jan. 1 and are off running, looking forward to meeting current clients and introducing themselves to potential clients.

“We are down-to-earth guys who fit in well with Montana ways,” Mike said.

“I think we provide a different approach than most advisors,” Colten added. “We are relatable. We’re not here to confuse people. We keep it simple, providing advice and suggestions for people who need the help.”


A fond farewell

Despite leaving LPL Financial in good hands, Carlson said it’s not easy to say goodbye.

 “I’ve enjoyed being a financial advisor,” Carlson said. “I’ve made many friends and have established many valuable relationships. That’s what this job is about: relationships.”

Carlson added that he appreciates the loyalty and trust his clients have put in him through the years.

For the time being, however, Carlson will be working regularly with the Mellows, making it his goal to have a seamless transition. So far, so good, Carlson said, and Mike and Colten agree.

“This first three months we’ll have access to [Carlson] helping us out, but our intent is to try to free him up as soon as possible,” Mike said.

And, once Carlson’s retirement officially begins, Mike and Colten say it will continue to be “business as usual,” adding, “it’s the same company, just new faces.”

They also have the same phone number.

To reach the Mellows, call the LPL office at (406) 538-2318.





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