From the January 2009 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

New Year, Same Issues?

Sidebar to B/D Briefings article: "New Tax Lot Accounting"

It's no secret that the securities and investments industry in 2009 will be shaped by the ramifications of 2008's events. According to a new series of research reports from TowerGroup identifying key trends for the new year, firms operating in the securities and capital markets arena will continue to "tackle with many implications of the credit crisis in 2009, including the deleveraging of positions and mere survival."

The research also shows that regulation and the retirement crisis are two of the biggest business drivers for retail brokerage and wealth management firms. TowerGroup believes a new age of regulation will result from the financial crisis of 2008, forcing firms to focus on increased oversight of advisors and potentially react to a restructuring of industry regulators. Firms will look to technology to better differentiate client segments and enhance advice programs for an aging population that is largely unprepared for retirement.

"In 2009, we are clearly looking at a time of retrenchment and regrouping across the entire securities and investments space," said Peter Delano, TowerGroup research area director overseeing the Brokerage & Wealth Management, Investment Management, and Securities & Capital Markets services, in a statement. "Yet even in the midst of continued uncertainty and instability, opportunities will begin to emerge, particularly for retail brokerage and wealth management. TowerGroup expects the strongest and most confident firms in this sector to view this crisis as an opportunity to pluck advisor talent from the competition, gather client assets, and build for the future."--Kara P. Stapleton

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