Best Independent Broker Dealer

Best Independent Broker Dealer?

There is no such thing….

I get asked all the time who the best broker dealers are. The truth is there is no way to answer that question without lots of context about the question itself. Trade publications try to label “the best” by ranking firms by their size. While size of the firm tells part of the story, it certainly can’t determine which broker dealer is best for an advisor. Every firm in existence has pros and cons. The key to a successful search is prioritizing those characteristics based on an individual advisor’s background, goals, pain points, needs, wants and deal breakers. In doing this with thousands of advisors over the years, it is abundantly clear to me that what makes a firm attractive to one advisor may by completely the opposite to another advisor.

Case in point, I am working with an advisor who wants to leave his current firm. He feels stagnant with his GDC hovering around $600,000. He wants to spend the next 5-7 years growing his practice with the goal of getting to be a Million-dollar producer and then selling his practice for the highest multiple possible. While he chose to go to a mid-size firm 10 years ago as he preferred knowing leadership, feeling like he truly mattered and wanted a local presence, those priorities worked out well at the time. With his goals changing over time, so have his requirements in a new firm. He is now only considering broker dealers with a bult-in/proven marketing program to help grow his practice, better technology and several advisors in his area that want to buy practices. We are also focusing in on firms with a very strong succession planning department. One that will evaluate his practice, find potential buyers and will finance the acquisition once he is ready to sell. While his current firm is good at many things and have served him well, the “best” broker dealer is now one more aligned to his current situation.

As a third-party recruiter, one of the best parts of what I do is help advisors clearly define their priorities. Ultimately, “the best” broker dealer is one that aligns as close to those priorities as possible.

Jodie Papike is the CEO of Cross-Search, a third-party, independent broker dealer/RIA recruiting firm that connects advisors with the right broker dealers and RIAs. For more information visit

Jodie Papike

Jodie Papike is the CEO & Managing Partner of Cross-Search, the first third-party, independent broker dealer advisor and executive placement firm. Since joining Cross-Search in 1997, Jodie has been consulting with financial advisors transitioning to new independent broker dealers, guiding them through the entire process of identifying their most appropriate options, negotiating a deal and transitioning clients. Jodie has an intricate knowledge of the securities industry and a deep understanding of each of the major independent broker dealer firms, enabling her to help advisors find and transition to a broker-dealer that best suits their needs. Cross Search has placed thousands of advisors, producing more than 375 mill. in gross dealer concessions. Jodie takes the utmost pride in finding a firm for an advisor that will not only better their career, but will also be a good home for them for years to come. Jodie is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, is regularly quoted and published in publications such as Investment News, Registered Rep, Financial Planning, Life Insurance Selling and Advisor One. Jodie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Diego State, graduating with honors.

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