The year 2009 marked the 19th time that Investment Advisor asked its readers who are representatives of independent broker/dealers to rank their own B/Ds on 14 discrete categories, along with an overall rating. Those broker/dealers that receive the highest average rating from their own representatives are deemed Broker/Dealers of the Year, based on a score that weights the 14 discrete categories with 5% of the total score, while the overall category is given a 30% weighting.
Further, the broker/dealers in the voting are divided into four different divisions based on the number of producing reps affiliated with those broker/dealers. Division I includes broker/dealers with up to 199 reps; Division II includes those with 200 to 499 reps; Division III encompasses B/Ds with 500 to 999 reps; and Division IV includes broker/dealers with more than 1,000 representatives.
To be eligible to vote, each representative must provide his or her own CRD number and the broker/dealer’s CRD number on the ballot. The Investment Advisor editorial staff checks each number against FINRA’s database to confirm the broker’s identity and affiliation. Moreover, for a broker/dealer to be eligible, they must have participated in Investment Advisor’s annual broker/dealer directory that appears in the June issue of the magazine and remains online at InvestmentAdvisor.com, and which includes data about the B/D through April 1 of that year. That requirement allows the editorial staff to place each B/D in the appropriate division based on the number of producing reps they report; 81 broker/dealers appeared in the June 2009 directory.