Reps remain generally satisfied with their firms. Our surveyors this year collected good scores and kind words for technology advancements, product innovations and the ubiquitous, but favored, strategy of targeting the wealthy with fee-based services.
By comparison, brokers criticize wirehouses' current cost-cutting measures as shortsighted. The paltry quantity of sales assistants and spotty quality of operations impact production, they say.
And brokers always have anxieties. Two years ago, they worried about the Internet. Last year, consolidation was causing concerns. And the survey this year uncovered a loss of faith in analysts (what little there was to begin with).
The believability of analysts came into serious question, of course, after the tech bubble popped. Some brokers feel they were downright misled by analysts more concerned with landing banking business. However, quality of research has never been highly ranked by brokers.
So, add up the numbers, factor in brokers' comments, and judge the firms yourself.
For all of the comments from the 400 brokers polled, see www.rrmag.com.
|First Union Securities||8.14||7.29||7.61||7.96|
|Salomon Smith Barney||8.41||8.02||7.87||8.74|