The independent broker/dealer channel remains the largest in terms of number of advisors, when you factor in dually registered reps. But it still has some catching up to do in other areas, like client assets per advisor. The wirehouse world still has a monopoly on the biggest advisors — those with the most assets — in the industry.
That said, some think independent b/ds have a major opportunity ahead in the asset gathering game. According to Cerulli, more than $800 billion in client assets will be transferred from one firm to another as a result of financial advisors switching employers in 2009. Of that, Wall Street wirehouse firms are expected to see a net loss of $188 billion in client assets to other channels in the industry, including the independent b/d space.