From the September 2017 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

The Rules and the Runners Up: 2017 Broker-Dealers of the Year

Work on the Broker-Dealers of the Year officially starts in March when we begin collecting performance information from firms for our Broker-Dealer Reference Guide. The firms vetted for the Guide are eligible to be nominated as the best broker-dealer in their division.

Ballots go out in June and the long process of vetting votes begins. This year, we received 1,514 votes. Of those, 72 had to be rejected because they were duplicates, the rep’s CRD number or name was invalid or wasn’t found on BrokerCheck, or the firm being nominated didn’t participate in the Guide.

Of the 51 BDs in the June Reference Guide, 28 had reps nominate them in the poll, 13 of which were disqualified because less than 10% of their rep force voted.

Winners of second-place honors in their division include Independent Financial Group, The Investment Center and Prospera Financial Services. Sigma Financial Corp., United Planners Financial Services and Peak Brokerage Services are recognized among the third-place winners.

In addition to asking reps questions about their current firms, we asked them to share where they would go if they decided to affiliate with another firm. Many of the reps who answered this optional question said they are perfectly happy where they are and have no intention of leaving their current firms. Of the 8.1% of reps who have their sights set somewhere else, here’s where they said they’d go:

Broker-Dealer of the Year runners up

About 4% of reps who voted this year said there are products they wish their firms offered. Some of their requests include:

  • Assistance with DOL compliance
  • Better trading platform
  • Choice of clearing firms or custodians
  • Digital signatures
  • Fee-based 529 plan option
  • Financing options
  • Financial planning software
  • Help with social media
  • Marketing support
  • More integrations and single-sign-on
  • Robo-advisor or digital onboarding
  • Stock research
  • Trust services

--- Read Rock Solid: The 2017 Broker-Dealers of the Year on ThinkAdvisor.

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