NEXT Financial Group has doubled its size every two years since 1999 and expects to continue its aggressive growth pattern in the near future. Its 2005 revenues were $54 million, up from about $37 million a year earlier — and they could reach $75 million this year, says President Jeff Auld.
With nearly 700 advisors and staff, the independent Houston-based broker-dealer isn’t poised to catch up with the likes of LPL anytime soon in terms of size. But, Auld says, it is able to go head-to-head with such rivals when it comes to the quality of the advisors it recruits — thanks to its advisor/employee ownership plan and other features.
“We’ve grown rapidly,” says Auld, “from obscurity to being one of the better-known independent broker-dealers. We can compete for large producers.”
John Lau and Associates of San Mateo, Calif., joined NEXT from LPL, for instance, in mid-2005.
“We used to double the number of reps and double revenue,” explains Auld. “Now, our focus is more on higher-producing reps and less on headcount. You don’t have to see a big change in the number of reps if you’re doubling revenue. We’re recruiting those with more and more business,” namely those with $100,000 and higher in yearly production.
NEXT has six full-time recruiters and could add one or two more in 2006.
The firm acquired the reps and book of business of J. Scott Group of Golden, Colo., in late 2005 and is in talks with several more broker-dealers, according to Auld. American Financial of Houston, led by David Cade, came over from Raymond James Financial Services, as did Steve Iversen & Associates of Albuquerque.