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12 Best & Worst Broker-Dealers: Q4 Earnings, 2021

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Related: 12 Best & Worst Broker-Dealers: Q3 Earnings, 2021

Eight out of 12 broker-dealers reported higher earnings in the fourth quarter of 2021 than in the year-ago period. That’s down from 11 out of 12 BDs who reported higher earnings in the third quarter of 2021. 

These 12 firms and other financial services companies will start reporting their first-quarter results for 2022 on April 15.

All figures in the slideshow represent year-over-year changes in net income and earnings per share, as well as in the number of financial advisors, revenues or other reported results tied to wealth management or private banking operations.

Advisor Headcount

Overall, three wirehouse firms — Bank of America (Merrill/Private Bank), UBS (Americas) and Wells Fargo — saw their combined headcount of financial and wealth advisors shrink by 2,520 over the past 12 months to 37,548 as of Dec. 31, 2021.

Morgan Stanley no longer includes the size of its advisor force in its quarterly financial statements.

Four other large broker-dealers tracked by ThinkAdvisor — Ameriprise Financial, LPL Financial, Raymond James and Stifel Financial — had a total of 40,774 advisors. That’s up 3,052 from last year. (The bulk of these advisors are independent contractors, versus employee advisors at the wirehouses.)

Image: Chris Nicholls/ALM