Unlike in the prior quarter, the ranked performance of the largest broker-dealers in the third quarter of 2020 did not include severe loan losses and other situations related to COVID-19. Click through the gallery to see how they compared. ( (Photo: Shutterstock)

WORST: 13th place.
AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL

Adjusted earnings of $184 million, DOWN 67% | EPS $1.47, DOWN 64% | 9,905 franchisee/employee advisors, DOWN 25

Ameriprise headquarters in Minneapolis. (Photo: Bloomberg)

12th place.
WELLS FARGO

Earnings $2.035 billion, DOWN 56% | EPS $0.42, DOWN 54% | Employee advisor headcount 13,450, DOWN 815

Wells Fargo branch in New York (Photo: Bloomberg)

11th place.
CITIGROUP

Earnings $3.23 billion, DOWN 34% | EPS $1.40, DOWN 32% | Private bank revenues $938 million, UP 8%

Citigroup headquarters in New York (Photo: AP)

10th place.
LPL FINANCIAL

Earnings $104 million, DOWN 21% | EPS $1.29, DOWN 18% | Advisor headcount 17,168, UP 819

LPL CEO Dan Arnold (Photo: LPL Financial)

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9th place.
BANK OF AMERICA

Earnings $4.88 billion, DOWN 16% | EPS $0.51, DOWN 16% | Merrill headcount 17,760, UP 103

Bank of America building (Photo: AP)

8th place.
RAYMOND JAMES

Adjusted earnings $249 million, DOWN 12% | EPS $1.78, DOWN 12% | Advisor headcount 8,239, UP 228

Raymond James CEO Paul Reilly.

7th place.
WADDELL and REED

Earnings $30.5 million, DOWN 8% | EPS $0.48, UP 4% | Advisor and associate headcount 1,313, DOWN 31

Waddell and Reed headquarters in Shawnee Mission, Kansas.

6th place.
JPMORGAN CHASE & CO.

Earnings $9.4 billion, UP 4% | EPS $2.92, UP 9% | Wealth advisor headcount 2,968, UP 96

JPMorgan Sign on a building in New York. (Photo: AP)

5th place.
STIFEL FINANCIAL

— Earnings $110.6 million, UP 6%| EPS $1.46, UP 6% | Advisor headcount 2,177, UP 80

Stifel CEO Ronald Kruszewski (Photo: Bloomberg)

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4th place.
FIRST REPUBLIC BANK

Earnings $293.1 million, UP 25% | EPS $1.61, UP 23% | Total wealth management assets $168.2 billion, UP 20%

First Republic Bank branch in New York (Photo: Bloomberg)

3rd place.
MORGAN STANLEY

Earnings $2.7 billion, UP 26% | EPS $1.66, UP 31% | Advisor headcount 15,469, DOWN 84

Morgan Stanley's New York headquarters (Photo: Bloomberg)

2nd place.
GOLDMAN SACHS

Earnings $3.62 billion, UP 93% | EPS $9.68, UP 102% | Wealth management revenues (including former United Capital) $1.17 billion, UP 6%

David Solomon, president and CEO of Goldman Sachs. (Photo: Bloomberg)

BEST: 1st place.
UBS

Earnings $2.1 billion, UP 99% | EPS $0.56, UP 100% | Advisor headcount-Americas 6,353 DOWN 274

A UBS building in New York (Photo: Bloomberg)

 

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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