Reps at broker-dealers listed in the 2014 Broker-Dealer Reference Guide were allowed to vote for their broker-dealer at ThinkAdvisor.com between June 1 and July 1. To be eligible, a broker-dealer had to be nominated by at least 10% of the producing reps reported in the guide.
A total of 2,990 votes were cast for the 2014 Broker-Dealers of the Year.
Once the votes were counted, the broker-dealers were grouped in divisions based on their number of producing reps.
- Division I: Up to 199 producing reps
- Division II: From 200 to 499 producing reps
- Division III: From 500 to 999 producing reps
- Division IV: 1,000 or more producing reps
To produce a valid ballot and to help ensure the integrity of the voting process, all voters were required to provide their own CRD numbers and their broker-dealer’s CRD number. Reps were also required to provide their name and contact information, but that information is kept strictly confidential by the Investment Advisor editorial staff, and was only used to confirm their identity and broker-dealer affiliation.
Voters were asked to rate their broker-dealer in 15 different categories, including an overall ranking, which accounted for 30% of a broker-dealer’s final rating.
One of the questions we asked reps was where they would go if they left their current broker-dealer. Not every respondent answered, but of those who did, 17.4% chose Cambridge. The same percentage said they would go to LPL. Almost 15% said they would affiliate with Commonwealth if they left their current BD, and 11.3% said Raymond James would be their choice.
It’s worth mentioning that several respondents said they would never leave their current broker-dealer.
We also asked respondents to name some of the products their BD doesn’t currently offer that they wish they had access to. The top three choices were non-standard investing vehicles like hedge funds, IPOs or options; marketing assistance including internal and external or turnkey options; and better technology such as reporting, householding or e-signatures.
2014 Broker-Dealers of the Year Second Place Winners
Division I: Harbour Investments
Division II: Investors Capital Corp.
Division III: NEXT Financial
Division IV: Commonwealth Financial Network
2014 Broker-Dealers of the Year Third Place Winners
Division I: Founders Financial
Division II: Summit Brokerage Services
Division III: Sigma Financial
Division IV: ProEquities Inc.