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There has been a substantial increase of breakaway brokers so far this year. According to TD Ameritrade Institutional, “…212 breakaway brokers have joined its network during the first three quarters of its fiscal year 2010. That’s a record amount for the first three-quarters of any fiscal year for the Jersey City, N.J.-based RIA custodian.”

Typically, years ago, brokers left the wirehouses because they wanted to go independent and run their own shop. Now, with the economy still trying to recover, these brokers are looking to join existing Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firms. They don’t want all the risk that is involved with setting up their own firm. Tom Nally, the company’s managing director of sales, states,

“What we’ve seen after the financial crisis is that the visibility of the independent model has expanded and we’re seeing folks who are less inclined to be entrepreneurs who want to take advantage of the independent model by joining existing advisors.”

Even though there is an increase in breakaway brokers to RIA firms, there is also a considerable amount of wirehouse brokers breaking away to other wirehouses.