Prospera Financial, The Investment Center, Questar Capital and Cambridge Investment Research are the 2014 Broker-Dealers of the Year. Those are the four IBDs whose own representatives gave them the highest ratings in Investment Advisor magazine’s 24thannual reader poll, which was conducted on ThinkAdvisor.com in June.
Nearly 3,000 reps participated in the voting, ranking their BDs in 15 different categories; those BDs who garnered the highest average rep rating in each of four divisions, measured by the number of producing reps, receive the annual award.
Running an independent broker-dealer of any size has never been easy, but the turmoil surrounding the IBD industry has been particularly acute over the past year, marked by a steep upswing in industry consolidation, an increase in affiliation options for reps and a greater regulatory burden. IBD leaders must also face the industry-wide demographic issue of an aging advisor force, the costs of staying current on technology, including competition from robo-advisors, and the need to attract younger clients as baby boomers move into retirement. The virtues of forward-looking, flexible leadership becomes even more important in such a business atmosphere.
In a day-long, in-person roundtable discussion on Aug. 5 in Chicago, leaders of the four winning BDs met with Investment Advisor editors to discuss that turmoil as represented by four different scenarios. The results of that conversation can be found in the September 2014 cover story of Investment Advisor magazine, along with additional content, including video interviews with those leaders, that will appear on the 2014 Broker-Dealer of the Year home page on ThinkAdvisor.
As an indication of the level of discourse at that roundtable, here are excerpts of how the leaders of the 2014 Broker-Dealers of the year responded to the first scenario in the discussion: