Former U.S. Senator Christopher J. Dodd, a Democrat who represented Connecticut and was co-author of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, was the keynote speaker at the opening day of the LPL Financial annual national advisors conference in San Diego on Monday.

Dodd emphasized the importance of establishing a financial services regulatory framework that best serves middle-class American households, as well as the importance of sound and clear financial advice. He is currently chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America Inc.

Dodd addressed 2,500 LPL financial advisors attending the three day conference. Prior to the opening of the conference, more than 200 women advisors attended a session on Sunday designed to help them build their practices.

The conference for the nation's largest independent broker-dealer revolves around three themes--efficiency, growth and practice management--designed to help LPL advisors attract new clients from the high-net-worth and retirement channels, said Derek Bruton, managing director and national sales manager.

He said that growth for advisors will come more from adding new clients than from adding wealth because the double-digit market performance of past years is not going to be repeated for several years.

In order to help advisors attract clients in the retirement space and to retain the children of those who are retiring as clients, Bruton added, LPL now has 50 retirement specialists. Two years ago, the company had only two such specialists.

"There is a real opportunity here for advisors to establish relationships with people before they retire to benefit from the rollovers into retirement," Bruton said.

Elsewhere, LPL has partnered with Fortigent in Rockville, Md., to help cultivate high-net-worth clients, the other area where LPL sees opportunities for advisors in the future.

Bruton and Joan Khoury, LPL's chief marketing officer and managing director, told attendees that LPL is encouraging advisors to use social media to help communicate with clients and to network with peers.

--Karen DeMasters