2012 Broker-Dealers of the Year—Slideshow

There are some familiar faces and a new contender among the 2012 winners

David Stringer, Prospera Financial ServicesProspera Financial Services

President: David Stringer  

Years in Business: 30

Producing Reps: 106

Average annual gross production per rep: $274,694

2011 gross revenue: $28 million

Company data self-reported as of April 1, 2012.

On regulations and fees: We’re having record revenue, and as a firm we seem to be profitable. I do see there is a squeeze, and I understand that. I think we’re all going to be impacted. Many of these fees are increases at the individual rep level, so in many cases these are pass-throughs to the rep.

On Consolidation: I don’t see consolidation for the ones who are in it for the right reasons. The ones who wanted to be their own broker-dealer because they wanted that control are having to reassess that decision. I think there’s plenty of room in the industry for the small boutique firms.

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David Pintaric, WRP Investments Inc.WRP INVESTMENTS INC.

President: David Pintaric  

Years in Business: 36

Producing Reps: 355

Average annual gross production per rep: $115,396

2011 gross revenue: $43.2 million

Company data self-reported as of April 1, 2012.

On Consolidation: I don’t think the trend that we’ve experienced over the last three years of roll-ups and reduction in the universe of broker-dealers is going to continue. Most of the firms that in the last three years have ceased to exist did so because they did something wrong; whether it was intentional or not, they brought something on themselves.

On Service: Even though [my advisors are] not formal owners of our firm, I’ve always felt that they’ve owned the business. The reason is that they own the relationship with the ultimate end customer. So keeping focused on who is the boss is very, very important.

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Barry Knight, NEXT Financial GroupNEXT Financial Group

President: Barry Knight  

Years in Business: 13

Producing Reps: 810

Average annual gross production per rep: $154,000

2011 gross revenue: $125.1 million

Company data self-reported as of April 1, 2012.

On Regulation and Fees: I don’t think that the FINRA fee increase in and of itself is catastrophic by any stretch of the imagination. I do have ongoing concerns about the margin compression for the industry over all. I suspect all of us here at the table are doing well because we’re doing things well.

On Budget Priorities: I’ve certainly made hiring mistakes. I’ve hired some brilliant people who really knew their subject, who were true subject matter experts in their specialty, but didn’t understand our service culture. Somebody with the right attitude and the right heart of service toward our representatives—I’ll take them every day.

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Eric Schwartz, Cambridge Investment ResearchCambridge Investment Research

Chairman and CEO: Eric Schwartz  

Years in Business: 31

Producing Reps: 2,160

Average annual gross production per rep: $183,482

2011 gross revenue: $396.9 million

Company data self-reported as of April 1, 2012.

On Regulation and Fees: Fifteen years ago we were a fairly regulated industry; now it’s much more. We would all like to see better regulation rather than more regulation.

On Social Media: The problem was there was a small number of young men and women who knew what to do with [social media], and then everybody else started figuring out they needed to do it, but didn’t know how. Broker-dealers need to do more than just the minimum, which is the compliance tool. It’s really about helping them be successful at it because a lot of people did it for six months and said they didn’t get anything out of it. Well, you didn’t get anything because you didn’t do anything.

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