Financial Planning Magazine Releases The Top 50 Independent Broker-Dealers

Survey's Top Findings Reveal Growth for the Industry

Jun 24, 2011, 12:54 ET from SourceMedia

NEW YORK, June 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- ( -- Financial Planning, the monthly magazine and website serving independent financial advisors across the United States, today announced its 26th annual FP50 ranking of the nation's largest independent broker-dealers by revenue.

Industry giant LPL Financial, with 2010 revenue of $2.9 billion, and Ameriprise Financial Services, with revenue of $2.5 billion, topped the FP50 list as it did last year. The two giants each generated twice the revenue of Raymond James Financial Services, which ranked No. 3 with $1 billion in revenue. Commonwealth Financial Network, with revenues of $579.6 million, moved to fourth place from last year's fifth spot, leapfrogging AXA Advisors, which had $537.4 million in revenues. The top five firms posted growth rates ranging from 10% to 23%.

The FP50 is compiled by Financial Planning, which each year surveys independent broker-dealers about their annual revenues. B-Ds are also asked about the production of their reps, commissions and fee-based product details, and other related information. This year, Craig Israelsen, a financial planning expert and an associate professor at Brigham Young University, helped the editors compiled the FP50. The results are available in their entirety at and in the June issue of Financial Planning.

"After two years of stagnant or shrinking revenue, the 50 largest independent broker-dealers saw their annual revenues rebound last year -- significantly in many cases," said Scott Wenger, Financial Planning's editor-in-chief. "But even as this year's ranking tells the broad story of an industry in recovery, it also yields many smaller stories, of individual firms that found success in the marketplace, and a few that didn't."

Driven by a robust stock market and strong demand for mutual funds, annuities and other products, 13 firms on this year's list posted year-to-year growth of more than 20%.

Lincoln Investment Planning was the fastest-growing B-D with a 63.6% jump in revenue. Lincoln was followed by Triad Advisors (50.2%), American Portfolios Financial Services (43.8%) and CFG/H. Beck (42.9%). All four firms are midsize B-Ds with 2010 revenues of less than $100 million.

The next two fastest-growing firms, however, were top 10 B-Ds. Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network's revenue jumped 40.9% and Cambridge Investment Research -- which was the fastest-growing B-D on last year's list with a modest 3.2% revenue rise -- posted an increase of 36%.

A large part of the FP50's revenue increases came from mutual funds. The firms boosted mutual fund revenues by about $600 million, with a median increase of 16.9%. By comparison, revenues from individual securities increased around $20 million, with a median gain of 2%.

In their analysis of the date, the magazine concluded that if the economic rebound stays on track, and the markets avoid a significant retreat, the independent broker-dealer industry should experience continued growth.

"Financial Planning has been conducting our broker-dealer ranking for an impressive 26 years," said Tim Whiting, Financial Planning's Group Publisher. "Our June issue has become the must-read and go-to issue for broker-dealer executives and their staffs."

The FP50 has become a valuable resource for advisors comparing payouts and other key attributes of the leading firms. A more comprehensive list is available at site and in Financial Planning magazine's annual Broker-Dealer Guide, which will be published as a supplement to its August issue.

About Financial Planning

The Financial Planning brand is the leading publication and online resource for independent financial advisors. Financial Planning and deliver the essential information, strategies and expert analysis advisors need to successfully grow their practices.

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Corporate Contact:
Ying Wong
Vice President
Human Resources

News Release Contact:
Scott Wenger
Financial Planning

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