Stephens Inc. Down By 112 Stockbrokers Since Last Year

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Sep. 29, 2003 12:00 am  

(Click here to see the list of the state's brokerage firms.)

Most of the brokerage firms in Arkansas lost stockbrokers in 2003.

The largest decline in stockbrokers was seen at Stephens Inc. of Little Rock, which lost 112 registered representatives since September 2002, falling from 515 to 403 in September.

Still, Stephens has 106 more agents than the No. 2 firm, Edward Jones, and the No. 3 firm, A.G. Edwards, combined according to this year's Arkansas Business list of the state's largest broker-dealers.

The number of each firm's registered representatives were supplied by the firms.

Stephens spokesman Frank Thomas said the loss of agents is tied to the Stephens loss of managing a mutual fund, Nations Funds.

"We're no longer managing that fund, so those registered representative are no longer employed by Stephens," he said.

Other firms also saw their numbers fall.

Prudential Financial Inc. of Newark, N.J., and Wachovia Corp. of Charlotte, N.C., merged their retail brokerage businesses on July 1 and created a new firm, Wachovia Securities LLC of Richmond, Va. Wachovia Corp. owns 62 percent of the company, and Prudential owns 38 percent.

Prudential Securities Inc. had 31 registered agents in Arkansas in 2002. But under the new company the number fell to 15, nearly knocking Wachovia off the list.

Wachovia also closed several of Prudential's locations including offices in Eureka Springs, Fayetteville and Hot Springs Village.

Morgan Stanley DW Inc. of New York also saw its number of registered agents drop from 116 in September 2002 to 99 this month.

Only three companies reported increases in the number of registered agents.

Edward Jones jumped from 152 in September 2002 to 164 in September.

Oppenheim, a division of BOSC Inc. of New York, saw its numbers rise from 29 in November to 43 in September.

Another rise in agents came from St. Bernard Financial Services Inc. of Russellville. It wasn't ranked last year, but with 19 registered agents in September, the firm had enough to land in the No. 13 position.

A Merrill Lynch & Co. of New York spokeswoman said it is the company's policy not to release the number of agents it has in a state, which resulted in the firm not being ranked on this year's list.

But Merrill Lynch did see its net worth climb from $5.71 billion at the end of 2001 to $5.87 billion at the end of 2002.n

Arkansas Business Rankings: Largest Broker Dealers
Ranked by Net Worth (in millions)

Rank — Firm — Net Worth* — Year-end date — Headquarters

1 — Smith Barney Inc. — $7,136.0 — Dec. 31, 2002 — New York
2 — Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. — $5,875.0 — Dec. 27, 2002 — New York
3 — UBS Financial Services Inc. — $2,393.8 — Dec. 31, 2002 — Zurich, Switzerland
4 — Morgan Stanley DW Inc. — $1,555.7 — Nov. 30, 2002 — New York
5 — A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc. — $1,422.9 — Feb. 28, 2003 — St. Louis
6 — Edward Jones — $649.1 — Dec. 31, 2002 — St. Louis
7 — American Express Financial Advisors Inc. — $504.2 — Dec. 31, 2002 — Minneapolis
8 — Morgan Keegan & Co. — $388.8 — Dec. 31, 2002 — Memphis
9 — Stephens Inc. — $126.1 — Dec. 27, 2002 — Little Rock
10 — AXA Advisors LLC — $22.7 — Dec. 31, 2002 — New York
11 — Sterne Agee & Leach — $22.5 — Sept. 30, 2002 — Birmingham, AL
12 — Crews & Associates Inc. — $18.7 — Dec. 31, 2002 — Little Rock
13 — Oppenheim, a division of BOSC Inc. — $8.0 — Dec. 31, 2002 — Tulsa
14 — Wachovia Securities LLC — $2.0 — March 14, 2003 — Richmond, VA
15 — American Municipal Securities — $1.6 — Dec. 31, 2002 — St. Petersburg, FL
16 — Arvest Asset Management — $1.5 — Dec. 31, 2002 — Rogers
17 — St. Bernard Financial Services Inc. — $0.02 — Dec. 31, 2002 — Russellville
Source: Arkansas Securities Department.

*Net worth is stockholders equity or partners' capital on year-end date as taken from annual statements filed with the Arkansas Securities Department. For firms based outside of Arkansas, stockholders equity for the entire corporation is listed.

Sum: Most of the brokerage firms in Arkansas lost stockbrokers in 2003.

 

 

Please read our comments policy before commenting.