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Financial Times Reveals 400 Top Brokers for 2017

By Rita Raagas De Ramos March 30, 2017

FA-IQ’s parent company, the Financial Times, has published its 2017 FT 400 list of top U.S. broker-dealers.

This year’s batch of top broker-dealers comes from 38 states and Washington, D.C., and represents 20 brokerage firms, including 19% from Morgan Stanley and 18% from Merrill Lynch, which have the most advisors on the list.

The average FT 400 advisor this year has 27 years of experience and manages $1.7 billion in client assets, up 14% from last year.

To qualify for the list, advisors had to have a minimum of 10 years of experience and at least $300 million under management. Qualified advisors were then scored on six attributes: AUM, AUM growth rate, compliance record, experience, industry certifications and online accessibility.

This year’s elite group of broker-dealers “reflects leading trends in the investment management industry, such the focus on lower costs and efficiency”, according to FA-IQ sister publication Ignites Research, which has collaborated with the Financial Times on the annual FT 400 list since its launch in 2013.

Ignites Research notes that 26% of the assets collectively managed by this year’s FT 400 advisors in mutual funds and ETFs are in index-tracking products, up from 20% last year.

“Investor needs are shifting and with them the nature and delivery of advice,” says Loren Fox, director of research for Ignites Research and head of the FT 400 project.

Three-quarters of FT 400 advisors provide online, interactive tools for their clients. Around 37% hold client meetings via Skype or similar videoconferencing services.

“This is a matter of efficiency, as even the top advisors must keep up with the so-called robo-advisors that offer low-cost automated investment accounts,” Fox says.

Click here to see a full list of this year’s batch of FT 400 broker-dealer advisors, including their company affiliations, locations and clients served.