A duo of Pennsylvania advisors, formerly with Merrill Lynch, has launched a new independent practice with LPL Financial through its affiliation with LPL Strategic Wealth Services, according to a news release.

Doylestown-based Continuity Private Wealth, which served about $1 billion in advisory, brokerage and retirement plan assets, is led by James “Jamie” P. Debuque and Timothy M. Baltz. Both advisors have spent their entire careers with Merrill Lynch. Debuque had been with the firm since 1996 and Baltz since 2004, according to BrokerCheck.

They partnered nearly 15 years ago, the release noted, “to build out a private wealth team focused on helping affluent clients manage sophisticated estate and tax planning, as well as investment issues.

They are joined by chief operating officer Wendy A. Fratrik, a chartered retirement planning counselor who has been with Merrill Lynch since 2011; client relationship manager Nicole Ferrara; and wealth management associate Lisa Baltz.

“We were drawn to LPL’s advisor-centric culture that gives us the flexibility to run our business as we see fit,” Debuque said in a statement. “By making this move, we now have the freedom to follow a fiduciary standard for our clients without corporate influence. We have access to more investment selections, robust financial planning software and a group of specialists who will help us create differentiated experiences for clients.”

Added Baltz, “We are excited to be able to offer our clients comprehensive financial services in alignment with their personal tax and estate planning goals, without limitations.”

LPL Strategic Wealth Services (SW), the release noted, “combines the freedom and flexibility of entrepreneurship with hands-on business services and support to help practices thrive, both operationally and strategically.”