Brokers, Money Managers, Trust Departments Ranked

by Gwen Moritz and Mark Friedman  on Monday, Sep. 27, 2010 12:00 am  

This year's Arkansas Business list of largest broker dealers shows a shake-up in the firms' rankings.  

(Click here to see a PDF list of broker dealers. Click here to see a PDF list of money managers. Click here to see a PDF list of trust departments. Spreadsheet versions of the broker dealers, money managers and trust departments lists are also available.)

Stephens Inc. of Little Rock still commands the top spot on the list, which ranks companies by the number of registered representatives they have in Arkansas. While Stephens reported 315 stockbrokers in the state, other companies are gaining some ground.

Edward Jones of St. Louis is now the No. 2 firm in the state with 185 registered reps. In 2009, it reported 181 stockbrokers and held the third spot.

Last year's No. 2 firm, Wells Fargo Advisors of St. Louis, has dropped to No. 4 this year with 115 broker dealers.

The reason for Wells Fargo's decline can be traced to 2009 when support employees were mistakenly included in the count of broker dealers, Teresa Dougherty, a spokeswoman for Wells Fargo Advisors, said in an e-mail to Arkansas Business.   

Also, Raymond James moved up from No. 16 to No. 8 as a result of an oversight of one of Raymond James' subsidiaries.

Raymond James of St. Petersburg, Fla., operates Raymond James Financial Services and Raymond James & Associates in Arkansas. But last year's list included only the number of registered representatives from Raymond James Financial Services, which totaled 10.

With both entities reporting, Raymond James has 54 broker dealers in 12 offices in the state.

Additional Lists
Stephens Inc. - or, more specifically, its Stephens Capital Management division - is also at the top of this week's list of the state's largest money managers.

Money managers on the list are Securities & Exchange Commission-registered investment advisers, and they are ranked by assets under management as reported in their most recent Form ADVs filed with the SEC. Firms whose most recent filings were more than 15 months old were excluded from the list.

Stephens Capital Management boasts $3.1 billion in assets under management, which doesn't include another $556.7 million managed by Stephens Investment Management Group LLC, a mutual fund division that is separately registered with the SEC. That's twice the assets of Foundation Resource Management Inc. of Little Rock, the only other money manager in the state with assets of more than $1 billion.

This issue also includes the second annual list of trust departments in Arkansas.

The top two spots are occupied by Simmons First Trust Co., the trust division of Simmons First National Corp. of Pine Bluff, and Arvest Trust Co. of Rogers, which is the trust division of Arvest Bank Group of Bentonville. Both trust departments reported hefty growth in assets - 17 percent by Simmons and 22 percent by Arvest - between the end of 2008 and the end of 2009.

No. 3 on the list this year is Bank of the Ozarks Inc. of Little Rock, which grew its trust assets by almost 38 percent in a single year to $867.5 million and overtook Metropolitan National Bank of Little Rock, where a small decrease in assets meant a drop to No. 4.

All 47 trust departments on the list are divisions of commercial banks, with the exception of Community First Trust Co. of Hot Springs, which is a stand-alone trust company. Its totals include trust assets outsourced by FirsTrust Financial Services Inc., a subsidiary of Home BancShares Inc. of Conway.

A Virginia investment advisory firm announced last week that it plans to open a Little Rock office.

A locally familiar face, John Clayton, will lead the expansion by Anderson Strudwick Inc. of Richmond, Va. Clayton joined Anderson Strudwick last month as managing director of its private client group.

Clayton, a Harding University graduate who started his career as an accountant with Russell Brown & Co. of Little Rock (later Ernst & Young), said he would live in Richmond but would be involved in setting up Anderson Strudwick's 22nd office.

No office space has been picked out, Clayton said last week, although he expects to lease in west Little Rock. No local brokers or advisers have been hired, he said.

The official announcement said Clayton was "recruiting a full brokerage investment team to begin serving investors within the next six to nine months."



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