This is the 18th year that Investment Advisor has asked its readers who are registered representatives of independent broker/dealers to anonymously rate their own broker/dealers in nearly a score of areas that are important to those reps.
In order to be considered, at least 10% of the producing reps of the 79 broker/dealer that participated in Investment Advisor’s annual directory (data as of April 1; published in June) must cast valid ballots. A valid ballot must include contact information for each individual, as well as the rep’s individual CRD number and the B/D’s CRD number. That information is confirmed (for all ballots cast) by IA staff using FINRA’s online BrokerCheck database. Each voter must also rate his or her broker/dealer on all 14 individual categories, as well as a 15th category that asks for an overall rating, which is weighted more heavily (30%) in the final score (5% weighting for each of the 14 categories).
Those broker/dealers receiving the highest average rating from their reps are deemed Broker/Dealers of the Year in four different divisions based on the number of producing reps in each broker/dealer: Division I includes B/Ds with up to 199 reps; Division II comprises broker/dealers with from 200 to 499 reps; Division III is for B/Ds with 500 to 999 reps; and the largest, Division IV, is reserved for B/Ds with more than 1,000 producing reps.