Last month fewer broker-dealers closed their doors and fewer new ones opened them - a drop in overall activity that appears to be the product of three factors, according to David Alsup, director of business development for The Compliance Department, a consulting firm that regularly tallies these numbers.

The rash of B-D closures due to bad investments in several notorious private placements - including DBSI Inc. and Medical Capital Corp. - appears to have wound down, according to Alsup.

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