Now that regulators have levied enormous fines against Edward Jones for engaging in improper revenue-sharing tactics, the firm is taking special care to disclose these arrangements to investors and the firm's brokers are making additional efforts to diversify their clients' portfolios, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
As a result, many believe sales of mutual funds through the firm could fall dramatically, particularly since revenue-sharing agreements generated $90 million, or 45%, of the firm's revenue and $1.1 billion in commissions to the firm's brokers in 2004. Further, it's expected that many of the firm's 9,400 brokers may begin to defect.
For years, Jones has maintained selling agreements with roughly 240 fund providers, but in recent years almost 95% of its fund sales were steered into only seven fund families that participated in the disputed revenue-sharing agreements.
That changed after the Securities and Exchange Commission cracked down on Jones last year with a landmark $75 million fine aimed at punishing the firm for concealing its special mutual fund sales arrangements from customers.