In the past, REP. has ranked independent broker/dealers by advisor headcount. While that metric can shed light on the size, scale and recruiting prowess of a firm, the business is no longer simply about the numbers. Instead, the editors—with the help of Cerulli Associates—have decided to rank firms by average assets per advisor. This approach, we hope, highlights the firms whose business models target top-tier advisors, such as Commonwealth and NFP Advisor Services. The list below is comprised of the 30 largest IBDs ranked by average assets under management per advisor, as of 2014.