13 Best & Worst Broker-Dealers: Q3 Earnings, 2020

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Broker-dealers, and financial services firms as a whole, saw their earnings improve overall in the third quarter of 2020 from a year ago.

In the period ending Sept. 30, only one of the 13 broker-dealers regularly included in these quarterly slideshows reported a loss on a pre-adjusted basis vs. two reporting a loss in the period ending June 30.  

Also, while 11 broker-dealers had lower or negative earnings in the second quarter of 2020 vs. the second quarter of 2019, only seven had such declining year-over-year results in Q3’20.

Though just two broker-dealers had improved results in Q2’20 vs. Q2’19, six reported increases in their year-over-year performance in the latest quarter of 2020. 

(All figures in the slideshow represent year-over-year changes in net income and earnings per share, as well in the number of financial advisors. )

Advisor Headcount

Overall, the four wirehouses — Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, UBS and Wells Fargo — saw their combined headcount shrink by 1,070 financial advisors over the past 12 months. They now have a total of 53,032 advisors in the Americas, which is up 37 from 52,995 in Q2’20.

For other large broker-dealers tracked by ThinkAdvisor —  LPL Financial, Ameriprise Financial, Raymond James and Stifel — have a total of 37,489 advisors. That’s up 1,102 from Sept. 30, 2019.

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