Our fifth annual Broker-Dealer Presidents Poll found the leaders of independent broker-dealers are optimistic even though they’re still smarting from the costs of staying compliant. Of the broker-dealers included in the 2014 Broker-Dealer Reference Guide, 58 presidents responded to questions in our poll. They told us about the challenges they’re facing, what they expect is weighing on their reps’ minds, and who in the industry really has their backs.
Click through the following slides to see their responses in graph form.
1. What issue do you feel is the most challenging to your firm business-wise in the short term (next 18 months)?
What are the biggest issues for the leaders of independent broker-dealers? Our exclusive poll shows that it’s still all about the reps—recruiting and retaining is by far cited as the biggest issue for the presidents over the next 18 months, which we consider the short term. The Department of Labor’s laborious redefinition of fiduciary is the next biggest single worry for our presidents (the “other” answer is all over the place), which apparently (but not in reality) seems to contradict what they consider their biggest long-term challenge (see answers to Question No. 2).
2. What issues do you feel are the most challenging to your firm business-wise in the long term (next three to five years and beyond)?
“Everyone who’s regulated feels regulation is unfair,” said former Fed Vice Chair Alan Blinder in a May interview with ThinkAdvisor.com. Scott Curtis of Raymond James Financial Services pointed out that in his firm, a DOL fiduciary ruling will have major implications since parent Raymond James Financial counts asset management, underwriting and fixed income as important parts of its non-IBD business. As with all things IBD, each firm has different priorities, though compliance and technology are always near the top of the list.
3. What issues do you feel are the most challenging to individual reps in the short term (next 18 months)?