What’s the Latest on Broker Protocol?

By Brooks K Hamner via Iris.xyz

It’s been several months since Morgan Stanley and UBS departed from the Protocol for Broker Recruiting, and the industry is continuing to feel the ripple effects of their maneuver.  Much remains to be seen, but many analysts expect more firms to abandon the protocol despite Wells Fargo’s and Merrill Lynch’s recent announcements to stick with it for now.  All of these firms were early adopters of the protocol, which has grown to include nearly 1,800 firms today.

A Changing Tide

Historically, firms have joined the protocol with the expectation that they could maintain a lock on their advisors due to their distinct advantages in trading capabilities and investment offerings over the independent model.

However, recent technological advancements make it easier for advisors to become registered and serve clients on their own. Advisors also now have the option of the consolidator route through which firms like Dynasty Financial Partners, HighTower Advisors, Focus Financial Partners, and United Capital provide them with liquidity options and greater autonomy to serve clients and recruit other advisors.

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