Choosing which broker-dealer to affiliate with is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make as an independent financial advisor.
The right broker-dealer will provide the technology, platforms and support to make your business run more smoothly. The wrong broker-dealer could have you trying to operate with more friction instead of less.
The following list includes five of the top independent broker-dealers for financial advisors by revenue. With billions of dollars in annual revenue and thousands of advisors already on their platforms, chances are at least one of these firms will have what you’re looking for.
Read on for five of the top independent broker-dealers for financial advisors. Revenue figures have been verified on the broker-dealers’ annual financial reports and fact sheets:
Ameriprise Financial Services
Ameriprise has been in the industry for more than 125 years, providing financial planning, banking and full-service brokerage services to clients through its affiliated advisors. The firm provides advisors with a technology platform, training, leadership and marketing programs to help them grow their practices.
Revenue increased 17% in 2021 at Ameriprise, with adjusted net operating revenue per advisor reaching an all-time high of nearly $800,000.
2021 revenue: $13.9 billion
Number of advisors: more than 10,000
Formerly AXA Advisors, Equitable Advisors employs almost 3,700 advisors. It uses an open architecture platform that includes compliance infrastructure support.
Equitable uses LPL Financial as its clearing broker-dealer, but the two are not affiliated. You can join the team as a new advisor, an experienced professional or manager.
2021 revenue: $11 billion
Number of advisors: nearly 4,400
Raymond James Financial Services Advisors
Net revenue in 2021 increased 22% compared with fiscal 2020, according to Raymond James’ 2021 annual report.
Its stable of 8,482 advisors, an increase of 243 from 2020, includes more than 5,000 affiliated independent contractor advisors. Only 1% of advisors chose to leave the firm in 2021. Raymond James offers seven affiliation options through its AdvisorChoice platform, including as a branch employee, independent registered investment advisor, or bank or credit union advisor.
2021 revenue: $9.8 billion
Number of advisors: 8,482
LPL Financial was founded on the principle that “the firm should work for the advisor, and not the other way around.” LPL also lets advisors choose their own business models, services and technology, as well as manage their client relationships how they see fit.
Most of its advisors are in rural and suburban areas and are considered “local providers of independent advice.” Many run their own business with LPL’s help with branding, marketing and promotion when needed. LPL doesn’t have proprietary products or investment banking relationships, so clients can rest assured that they’ll get objective advice.
2021 revenue: $7.7 billion
Number of advisors: 19,876
Commonwealth Financial Network
Commonwealth Financial Network is a privately owned, independent broker-dealer formed in 1979 by Joseph Deitch, who remains the firm’s chairman. It provides a suite of advisor services, from practice management to marketing and compliance, as well as investment options including a fee-based asset management platform called Preferred Portfolio Services.
Advisors gain access to the firm’s research team, which includes alternative strategies experts, annuity product specialists and real assets specialists.
2021 revenue: $2 billion
Number of advisors: 2,077
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5 of the Top Independent Broker-Dealers for Financial Advisors originally appeared on usnews.com