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The State of Independent Broker-Dealers: AdvisorOne Special Report

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These are challenging times for independent broker-dealers and for those representatives who affiliate with IBDs. As if the still-volatile markets and the slow-growing economy weren’t enough cause for concern, the regulators are making their presence known in major ways that mean higher costs and more paperwork for BDs. Some high-profile product missteps by many BDs, and the continuing move toward the hybrid advisor model and more options for the full-blown RIA model have led many IBD reps to reconsider their affiliations.

That’s where Investment Advisor’s annual Broker-Dealer Directory, the magazine’s Presidents’ Poll of independent BD leaders, and balloting for the annual Broker-Dealers of the Year can shed some light on the true state of the IBD universe. (The virtual voting booth for the 21st annual Broker-Dealers of the Year balloting can be found here, along with full rules.)

Throughout the month of June, AdvisorOne will focus on different aspects of the independent broker-dealer business model, following the below schedule. Check back as we update the calendar to reflect new content and new findings from our research.

Week One (beginning June 8):

1) Challenges and opportunities: the findings of the annual Investment Advisor Presidents’ Poll, with commentary by Jonathan Henschen.

2) The annual broker-dealer directory: the largest 25 independent broker-dealers as measured by revenue.

3) The top 25 independent broker-dealers by their friendliness to RIAs.

4) Who’s number one in representatives? The biggest BD as measured by number of affiliated reps.

Week Two (beginning June 13):

1) The top 25 independent broker-dealers as measured by highest average production.

2) The best home office support: top 25 IBDs as measured by the ratio of reps to home office staff.

3) Who has the most CFPs? The top 25 IBDs as measured by the percent of the rep force who hold the CFP designation.

4) How fee-based is your BD? The top 25 IBDs as measured by assets in fee-based programs, and by average AUM per advisor.Week Three:

Week Three (beginning June 20):

1) Early returns from the Broker-Dealers of the Year voting: the products that voters say they wish their BD offered.

2) An interview with Philip Palaveev of Fusion Advisor Network on the steps that BDs and their reps need to take now to succeed.

3) The state of social media among IBDs: a review.

4) Comings and goings: The top 25 IBDs as measured by the number of new reps added, and the number of reps dropped.

Week Four (beginning June 27):

1) The state of mobile technology at BDs: a review:

2) Public or private? Comparing performance of publicly traded broker-dealers and privately owned BDs.

 

3) Then and now: Combing findings of past BD directories to spot trends for the future.

4) The recruiting game: What BDs are offering new recruits, and what reps are looking for.