Each year since 1991, Investment Advisor has invited its readers who are representatives of independent broker/dealers to rate their own broker/dealers on a number of specific areas that are crucial to those reps' success. Those areas--including compliance, clearing services, the timely payment of commissions, and communications with the home office--are printed on a ballot that appears in the June issue of the magazine and online from June 1 through July 1 at www.investmentadvisor.com.
To participate in the annual Broker/Dealer of the Year voting, reps fill in the ballot and can either mail it or fax it to the IA offices, or vote online. IA staff, led by Research Editor Liana Roberts, then compile those paper ballots, and merge them with those submitted online. Each broker/dealer is then placed into one of four divisions based on the number of producing reps they report to us as of April 1 of that year for our annual directory of independent broker/dealers that is published in the June issue of the magazine.
At least 10% of the producing reps reported for that directory must vote for each broker/dealer to be considered for B/D of the Year honors. Then the reps' ratings of their own broker/dealer are considered: those B/Ds that get the highest composite ratings from their reps are declared winners in each of the four divisions, and are profiled in the September issue of the magazine.
This year, there were 6,010 ballots cast--the most ever--with about half of them submitted online. Starting in 2006, we plan on moving all balloting online.