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Rush to comply leaves some reps caught in middle

October 4, 2004

NEW YORK - Some registered representatives are feeling increasingly punch-drunk from the un-precedented rush to regulate the securities industry, according to brokers, executives with broker-dealers, attorneys and recruiters. On one side, there...

A rush to head off 529 regs

September 27, 2004

NEW YORK - As the mutual fund scandals continue to gallop across newspaper headlines, state officials who run the fast-growing but increasingly scrutinized Section 529 college savings plans are in the middle of a high-stakes battle to prove...

Most big brokers find ways to continue extra loss protection

September 27, 2004

WASHINGTON - About a year ago, many insurance carriers stopp-ed selling certain policies that brokerage houses buy to provide extra protection for their customers in case investment firms fail. Insurers such as Travelers Property Casualty Corp....

Profits are a mixed bag at big investment banks

September 27, 2004

NEW YORK - Big investment banks shot both over and under analysts' earnings estimates last week, but common themes emerged. Trading revenue in some businesses was down, and the summer's sluggish environment on Wall Street slowed the recent steady...

Merrill, firefighters' group going national with counseling

September 27, 2004

NEW YORK - Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. of New York and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation plan to go national with a program that provides free financial counseling and workshops to families of firefighters who have lost their lives. The...

SEC reopens Merrill rule debate

August 30, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO - The Financial Planning Association last week aimed a second legal barrage at the Securities and Exchange Commission over the so-called Merrill Lynch rule but then held its fire. In a follow-up to its July 27 lawsuit against the...

Wirehouse, regional reps face uncertain times

August 9, 2004

NEW YORK - Although the major market indexes were up more than 20% last year, the number of employee retail brokers at wirehouses and regional firms fell slightly. But as the stock market rallied strongly last year, registered representatives...

Banks make inroads into separates business

July 12, 2004

DETROIT - The banking industry may have finally found its "in" to the investment management business. While banks have been trying for years to break into asset management by selling mutual funds, many are now turning toward separately managed...

Next for Lincoln: Pay overhaul

June 28, 2004

NEW YORK - Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. of Fort Wayne, Ind., has spent the past year going through a reorganization of its top executives and network of registered representatives. Now it is preparing to change how it pays its brokers and...

Big changes in store for deferred-comp plans

June 28, 2004

WASHINGTON - Deferred- compensation plans used by most executives would have to be changed under legislation likely to be enacted this year. Financial advisers are worried that the changes would make the plans harder to use and less flexible....

Smith Barney broker group takes bull by the horns

June 21, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO - A group of the most powerful stockbrokers at Smith Barney Inc. is creating guidelines that could push the firm across the final frontier from product pusher to financial counselor. Drafting the guidelines, however, could cause...

Wachovia breaks down a wall

June 14, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO - Wachovia Securities Financial Network LLC feasted on wirehouse brokers last year, but now it is preparing to cannibalize its own. The Richmond, Va.-based independent-broker-dealer arm of Wachovia Securities LLC is developing...

Helping advisers go independent

June 14, 2004

NEW YORK - Since September, National Financial Partners Corp. of New York has quietly added another avenue to its recruiting program, focusing on brokers that specialize in financial planning and consulting. Before last year, there were two...

New climate triggering a migration

June 7, 2004

More independent advisers are choosing to partner with other firms or sell their practices, according to industry experts who cited a confluence of factors such as regulatory reforms and changing demographics. At the same time, some of those...

Hints from NASD: The times, they are a-changin'

June 7, 2004

NASD has been tipping its hand to its broker-dealer members to potential changes in how registered representatives sell mutual funds and variable annuities - through comment letters, internal reorganization and enforcement. On May 4, the securities...

Schwab bending in trade winds

May 31, 2004

Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. can no longer justly be lumped with Merrill Lynch & Co Inc. pricewise. San Francisco-based Schwab slashed trading costs for its advisers' biggest clients to a flat rate of $9.95, a drop of more than 60%. This rate drop...

Brokerage branches show a big surge

May 31, 2004

Despite the recent ferocious bear market, the brokerage industry has managed to increase its number of branches since the top of the market in 2000, with much of the expansion coming from firms other than the New York-based wirehouses. According...

Advocate for independent firms aims high

May 24, 2004

Only four months old, the Financial Services Institute of Atlanta is setting its sights high to fulfill its mission as an advocate for independent-contractor broker-dealers. "Ultimately, we'd like to see an independent-broker-dealer voice on...

2 top Griffith affiliates leave Linsco in lurch

May 24, 2004

One of the nation's largest fee-based financial planning firms and the planning arm of the Southeast's largest certified public accounting firm have aligned with a new broker in the wake of Linsco/Private Ledger Corp.'s recent acquisition of...

AmEx unit, looking upscale, undergoes makeover

May 3, 2004

As it attempts to refocus its brokerage operations to concentrate on wealthier regions and investors with more assets, American Express Financial Advisors Inc. of Minneapolis has recently made changes at the top. The changes follow the unit's...

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