As long-time readers realize, it isn’t the first go-around for many of the 2011 Broker-Dealer of the Year winners. In fact, it’s the fourth win for The Investment Center, the third win for Woodbury Financial (under both Pat McEvoy and predecessor Brian Murphy) and the third win for Investors Capital Corp. It’s only the first win for Founders Financial, but hey, give ‘em a break. They’ve only been in business five years, and they’re fully confident they’ll see us again.
With the number of “rallying moments” recently felt—the passage of Dodd-Frank, the debt ceiling fight, the (seemingly always) ongoing fiduciary issue—we thought it wise to take a look back at what’s been said.
The fiduciary issue is still in play, and there’s little doubt we’ll be discussing it again next year (and probably the year after that). Succession planning, mentioned by Woodbury’s then-president Brian Murphy in 2009, is still on everyone’s mind, but too many advisors and broker-dealers are at a loss about what to do. That, of course, leads to the question of where the next generation of advisors will come from. When asked at this year’s roundtable discussion, silence and blank stares were the response. And the technology horse race dates back at least to 2001, if ICC president Tim Murphy’s comments then are any indication.
Like childhood pictures on display, this look back makes some of the previous years’ comments look hopelessly innocent; but more often, they were startlingly prescient.
What’s excites you about technology?
Tim Murphy (2001): A recent innovation at our firm is our new Ultra Advantage account, similar in design to Merrill Lynch’s Unlimited Advantage account. Clients have a brokerage account and everything is covered by one fee. Trading and reps’ fees are included. Reps are looking for that because it allows them to enter the fee-based business.
Ralph DeVito (2009): Technology has made all the difference in the independent business. Maybe it is just as easy to start one now as in the ‘80s. We have responsibility for a lot of people, a lot of families.
Where have they been and where are they going?
Brian Murphy (2006): We’ve been growing at a compound annual growth rate of over 20% since we became Woodbury in 2001, although the seeds of Woodbury go back to 1910 and we’ve been a broker-dealer since 1949. We project growth north of a 35% increase in revenue this year, fueled by helping reps grow their practices and being active and successful in recruiting.
Tim Murphy (2001): Investors Capital tracks the market probably more closely than other companies might since it is directly related to the market. When the market comes back, so will we.