Last year's big growth lured a new player into the independent B-D arena. Nicholas Schorsch, the REIT magnate and executive chairman of RCS Capital, snapped up five prominent broker-dealers at the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014, at prices some deem rich and others call canny. The biggest prize: Cetera Financial Group, which he bought for $1.15 billion in January.
Because the FP50 reflects year-end 2013 revenues and most of the deals didn't close until 2014, RCS's new heft didn't register in the overall rankings. But adding up the 2013 revenue numbers for Schorsch's various acquisitions yields an aggregated total of $1.59 billion. That would put RCS in the equivalent of the No. 3 position, elbowing Raymond James Financial Services down a notch.
Every year we run the numbers to see how the top 10 list would change if the B-D networks aggregated their revenue numbers. This year we added another twist, looking at how the rankings would be affected if the new RCS network had in fact been put together before the end of the year. Click through to see the fallout; to see the revised rankings in a single graphic, click here