Their customers say, and have become much more of a partner with their correspondent broker/dealers than simply executors of trading and settlement.
Independent B/D executives have said that what’s important to them in their clearing partner is responsiveness, service, great platforms–especially those for fee-based services, systems that are flexible, the technical ability to put information at reps’ fingertips out in the field, and data, not only from products that clear directly through the clearing partner, but also those, such as mutual funds and annuity sub-accounts, that clear away. That data can make the difference between staying in compliance and being in violation, so it’s of critical importance.
The leading clearing firms continue to grow ever larger, along with their customers, and that’s no surprise. From recruiting and retention of high value producers to training, and from compliance counsel to middle office outsourcing, the clearing firms are insinuating themselves into much more of the daily business of their B/D correspondents than ever before. For the correspondent B/Ds that are their customers, this isn’t such a bad deal. With the major clearing firms taking on a business consulting role, adding to existing platforms, helping with technology solutions, and providing more services, all designed to help their customers, the B/Ds–and their reps–grow, because, if the correspondent B/Ds thrive, the clearing firms will, too. This is a business where scale is everything.