Questions to Consider When Choosing a Potential Broker Dealer

We’ll help you look before you leap

The switch to an independent broker dealer can be financially and personally rewarding, if you choose the right firm. We leverage our due diligence on the entire independent broker dealer community to help identify the right firm for you. Our due diligence gives us competitive intelligence and deep insight into the differences in independent broker dealer cultures, product mixes, technology, services, back office support, clearing platforms, pay structures, compliance environments, etc. Here are just a few of the many questions to ask of a new brokerage firm before you make a move.


  • How long has the brokerage firm been in business?
  • What is the firm’s gross revenue?
  • How many reps?
  • How many employees are in the back office for support?
  • Calculate staff-to-rep ratio
  • What is the level of experience in the back office?
  • What is the excess net capital of the firm?
  • Is the broker-dealer registered in all states where you plan to do business?
  • What is the firm’s coverage for errors and omissions insurance and does it include fraud allegation?
  • What are the long-term plans of the broker-dealer?
  • What are the requirements for becoming an office of supervisory jurisdiction (OSJ)?
  • Can you recruit other representatives and receive an override on the business they place, if you serve as their OSJ?
  • Is the firm a registered investment advisor (RIA)?
  • Can you transact business under their RIA or your own?
  • What is the firm’s product mix? Does it align with your current product mix or what you intend to focus on?


  • What forms of technology does the brokerage firm use?
  • What is the process for learning how to use it?
  • What access will you have to your client accounts?
  • How do you enter trades?
  • What type of access will you have to traders?
  • What type of accessibility will you have for stock quotes, research or news?


  • What mutual funds, variable annuities, and variable life insurance products are on the brokerage firm’s approved list?
  • Can packaged products be networked on one statement?
  • What marketing materials are supplied by the broker-dealer?
  • Can you see a sample of a client statement?
  • Will your name appear on the statement?
  • Will you have access to cash management accounts, to provide your clients a debit card and check-writing privileges?
  • Are there any monthly costs associated with the broker-dealer that will affect your payout?
  • What are the ticket charges at the new broker-dealer?
  • Comparing your current production run, what would you net if you did those same transactions with the new broker-dealer?


  • What marketing support does the broker-dealer provide?
  • What is the transition process?
  • What type of support is offered through the transition process?

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