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Firm Data

Table of Contents

Figure 2.1 Total Number of FINRA-Registered Firms, 2015−20191

(Count as of year-end)

 

Total Number of FINRA-Registered Firms, 2015−2019

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

1Firms conducting securities transactions and business with the investing public must be registered with FINRA. Firms must meet certain membership standards to attain registration.

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Figure 2.2 Firm Distribution by Size, 2015−20191

(Count as of year-end)

 

Firm Distribution by Size, 2015−2019

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

1Large Firm = 500 or more registered representatives; Mid-Size Firm = 151-499 registered representatives; Small Firm = 1-150 registered representatives.

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Table 2.2 Firm Distribution by Size, 2015–20191

(Counts as of year-end)

 

  2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Large 181 179 178 173 168
Mid-Size 194 194 194 192 198
Small 3,568 3,462 3,354 3,242 3,151
Total 3,943 3,835 3,726 3,607 3,517

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Data as of May 30, 2020.

1Large Firm = 500 or more registered representatives; Mid-Size Firm = 151-499 registered representatives; Small Firm = 1-150

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Figure 2.3 Securities Industry Registered Firms by Type of Registration, 2010−20191

(Count as of year-end)

 

Securities Industry Registered Firms by Type of Registration, 2010−2019

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

1"Broker-Dealer Firms—Only" refers to firms that are solely registered with FINRA as broker-dealers. "Dual Broker-Dealer and Investment-Adviser Firms" refers to FINRA-registered broker-dealers who are also registered as investment adviser firms. "Investment Adviser Firms—Only" refers to firms that are registered only as investment advisers and are overseen by the SEC or state regulators.

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Table 2.3 Securities Industry Registered Firms by Type of Registration, 2010–20191

(Counts as of year-end)

 

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Broker-Dealer Firms—Only 3,741 3,673 3,545 3,449 3,393 3,303 3,226 3,130 3,045 2,989
Dual Broker-Dealer and Investment-Adviser Firms 836 782 744 697 677 640 609 596 562 528
All FINRA-Registered Broker-Dealer Firms 4,577 4,455 4,289 4,146 4,070 3,943 3,835 3,726 3,607 3,517
Investment Adviser Firms—Only 25,323 25,527 27,132 27,514 28,134 28,712 29,081 29,601 30,246 30,535
Total Registered Firms 29,900 29,982 31,421 31,660 32,204 32,655 32,916 33,327 33,853 34,052

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

1"Broker-Dealer Firms—Only" refers to firms that are solely registered with FINRA as broker-dealers. "Dual Broker-Dealer and Investment-Adviser Firms" refers to FINRA-registered broker-dealers who are also registered as investment adviser firms. "Investment Adviser Firms—Only" refers to firms that are registered only as investment advisers and are overseen by the SEC or state regulators.

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Figure 2.4 Firm Distribution by Number of Branches, 2015−20191,2

(Count as of year-end)

 

Firm Distribution by Number of Branches, 2015−2019

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

1For each branch office, a FINRA-registered firm must file a Form BR (the Uniform Branch Office Registration Form).

2Large Firm = 500 or more registered representatives; Mid-Size Firm = 151-499 registered representatives; Small Firm = 1-150 registered representatives.

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Table 2.4 Firm Distribution by Number of Branches, 2015–20191,2

(Counts as of year-end)

 

  2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Large 139,013 137,806 134,473 133,760 132,758
Mid-Size 10,322 10,137 10,216 9,837 10,660
Small 12,057 11,521 11,278 11,064 10,489
Total 161,392 159,464 155,967 154,661 153,907

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

1For each branch office, a FINRA-registered firm must file a Form BR (the Uniform Branch Office Registration Form).

2Large Firm = 500 or more registered representatives; Mid-Size Firm = 151-499 registered representatives; Small Firm = 1-150 registered representatives.

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Figure 2.5 Firm Distribution, 2019

(As of year-end, percent of total)

 

Firm Distribution, 2019

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Table 2.5 Firm Distribution by Number of Registered Representatives: Additional Breakdown, 2015–2019

(Counts as of year-end)

 

Size Category 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
>1000 101 102 99 93 95
500-1000 80 77 79 80 73
301-499 69 69 67 65 69
151-300 125 125 128 127 129
101-150 109 100 102 101 107
76-100 98 101 85 94 83
51-75 174 164 161 165 157
41-50 110 107 116 100 100
31-40 165 166 166 167 159
26-30 115 109 118 129 114
21-25 172 167 167 155 164
16-20 265 254 260 257 236
11-15 395 405 378 378 370
10 or Fewer 1,965 1,889 1,800 1,696 1,661
Total 3,943 3,835 3,726 3,607 3,517

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Figure 2.6 10-Year Change in Number of FINRA-Registered Firms, 2009−2019

(Count as of year-end)

 

10-Year Change in Number of FINRA-Registered Firms, 2009−2019

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Figure 2.9 Urban-Rural Breakdown of FINRA-Registered Firms and Branches by Firm Size—20191,2

(Count as of year-end)

 

Urban-Rural Breakdown of FINRA-Registered Firms and Branches by Firm Size—2019

Source: U.S. Census Bureau and FINRA staff calculations.

1Large Firm = 500 or more registered representatives; Mid-Size Firm = 151-400 registered representatives; Small Firm = 1-150 registered representatives.

2Branch and firm zip codes are linked to the 2010 Urban Area to Zip Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA) Relationship File. The Census Bureau identifies two types of urban areas: i) Urbanized Areas (UAs) of 50,000 or more people; ii) Urban Clusters (UCs) of at least 2,500 and less than 50,000 people. "Rural" encompasses all population, housing, and territory not included within an urban area.

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Table 2.9 Urban-Rural Breakdown of FINRA-Registered Firms and Branches by Firm Size—20191,2

(Count as of year-end)

 

  Firms* Branches*
  Urban % Urban Rural % Rural Urban % Urban Rural % Rural
Large 168 5% 124 29% 128,403 86% 4,282 87%
Mid-Size 195 6% 88 21% 10,187 7% 373 8%
Small 3,032 89% 216 50% 9,964 7% 289 6%
Total 3,395 100% 428 100% 148,554 100% 4,944 100%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau;and FINRA staff calculations.

*A firm is counted if it has a branch in that area. Not included are firms and branches that do not report a zip code in CRD.

1Large Firm = 500 or more registered representatives; Mid-Size Firm = 151-400 registered representatives; Small Firm = 1-150 registered representatives.

2Branch and firm zip codes are linked to the 2010 Urban Area to Zip Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA) Relationship File. The Census Bureau identifies two types of urban areas: i) Urbanized Areas (UAs) of 50,000 or more people; ii) Urban Clusters (UCs) of at least 2,500 and less than 50,000 people. "Rural" encompasses all population, housing, and territory not included within an urban area.

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Figure 2.10 FINRA-Registered Firms – Median Number of Years in Business, 2009−2019

(Count as of year-end)

 

FINRA-Registered Firms – Median Number of Years in Business, 2009−2019

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Figure 2.11 FINRA-Registered Broker-Dealer Firms – Aggregate Financial Information, 2015−20191

(In millions of U.S. dollars)

 

FINRA-Registered Broker-Dealer Firms – Aggregate Financial Information, 2015−2019

Source: Financial and Operational Combined Uniform Single (FOCUS) Reports.

1Aggregated financial results only include firms that are FINRA-members as of year-end of each calendar year. Non-FINRA registered firms are not included. Revisions to historical series reflect updates and amendments filed by member firms.

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Figure 2.11 FINRA-Registered Broker-Dealer Firms – Aggregate Financial Information, 2015–20191

(In millions of U.S. dollars, as of year-end)

 

  2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Total Revenues $270,033.66 $271,509.45 $305,702.76 $361,089.42 $388,136.88
Total Expenses $247,432.67 $246,194.06 $268,632.69 $318,309.34 $344,216.12
Pre-Tax Net Income $22,600.99 $25,315.39 $37,070.07 $42,780.09 $43,920.77

Source: Financial and Operational Combined Uniform Single (FOCUS) Reports.

1Aggregated financial results only include firms that are FINRA-members as of year-end of each calendar year. Non-FINRA registered firms are not included. Revisions to historical series reflect updates and amendments filed by member firms.

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Figure 2.12 FINRA-Registered Firms – Leaving/Entering the Industry, 2005−2019

(Count as of year-end)

 

FINRA-Registered Firms – Leaving/Entering the Industry, 2005−2019

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Table 2.12 FINRA-Registered Firms – Leaving/Entering the Industry, 2005–2019

(Counts as of year-end)

 

Year Firms Leaving Percent of Total Firms Entering Percent of Total End of Year Total Firms
2005 -380 -7% 294 6% 5,106
2006 -327 -7% 248 5% 5,026
2007 -312 -6% 288 6% 5,002
2008 -324 -7% 218 4% 4,896
2009 -341 -7% 163 3% 4,717
2010 -329 -7% 190 4% 4,577
2011 -294 -7% 172 4% 4,455
2012 -303 -7% 137 3% 4,289
2013 -249 -6% 106 3% 4,146
2014 -220 -5% 144 4% 4,068
2015 -245 -6% 118 3% 3,943
2016 -231 -6% 123 3% 3,835
2017 -205 -6% 96 3% 3,726
2018 -219 -6% 100 3% 3,607
2019 -206 -6% 116 3% 3,517

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Figure 2.13 FINRA-Registered Firm Branch Offices – Opening/Closing, 2009−2019

(Count as of year-end)

 

FINRA-Registered Firm Branch Offices – Opening/Closing, 2009−2019

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Table 2.13 FINRA-Registered Firm Branch Offices – Opening/Closing, 2009–2019

(Counts as of year-end)

 

Year Branches Closed Percent of Total Branches Opened Percent of Total End of Year Total Branches
2009 -37,727 -23% 33,040 20% 166,699
2010 -26,324 -16% 22,336 14% 162,711
2011 -24,863 -16% 22,555 14% 160,403
2012 -25,193 -16% 25,939 16% 161,149
2013 -19,382 -12% 18,711 12% 160,478
2014 -16,554 -10% 17,522 11% 161,272
2015 -18,296 -11% 18,242 11% 161,392
2016 -20,103 -13% 18,175 11% 159,464
2017 -21,797 -14% 18,300 12% 155,967
2018 -20,875 -13% 19,569 13% 154,661
2019 -17,979 -12% 17,225 11% 153,907

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Figure 2.14 Spotlight: Capital Acquisitions and Funding Portals, 2016−20191

(Count as of year-end)

 

Spotlight: Capital Acquisitions and Funding Portals, 2016−2019

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

1Capital Acquisition Brokers (CABs) engage in limited range of activities, essentially advising companies and private equity funds on capital raising and corporate restructuring, and acting as a placement agent for sales of unregistered securities to institutional investors under limited conditions. The CAB rule took effect in 2017. Funding Portals (FPs) also engage in a limited range of activities: those prescribed under to JOBS Act and the SEC's Regulation Crowdfunding. The FP rule took effect in 2016.

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FINRA Rule 2210 governs broker-dealers’ communications with the public, including communications with retail and institutional investors. The rule provides standards for the content, approval, recordkeeping and filing of communications with FINRA. FINRA’s Advertising Regulation Department reviews firms’ advertisements and other communications with the public to ensure they are fair, balanced, not misleading and comply with the standards of the SEC, MSRB, SIPC, and FINRA advertising rules. FINRA rules do not require all communications to be filed, and the figures presented below therefore represent only a segment of such communication.

Figure 2.15 Advertising Regulation Filing Volumes, 2015−20191

(Count as of year-end)

 

Advertising Regulation Filing Volumes, 2015−2019

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

1Based on communications filed by broker-dealers for review by FINRA's Advertising Regulation Department ("Filings"). The filing requirements were modified in January 2017 as part of a retrospective review of the Communications with the Public Rules, as described in Regulatory Notice 16-41.

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Table 2.15 FINRA-Registered Firms — Most Common Marketing Methods Filed with FINRA, 2019

(Counts as of year-end)

 

Marketing Methods Total for Period 2019
Web information public access 25,578
Fund specific information sheet(s) 14,860
Flyers & other hand delivered material 5,585
Brochures, pamphlets, & catalogs 5,022
Periodic & other performance reports 3,454
E-mail, IM, SMS or text messages 3,394
Mailed sales material 2,964
Seminar related communications 2,011
Audio/Video tapes, CDs & DVDs 896
Information released to the press 663
Web information password protected 600
Print ads, posters, & signs 568
Articles & 3rd party reprints 551
Software output & IA Tools 464
Research reports - equity & debt 318
Acct statement related communications 246
Broker Dealer use only material 195
TV ads & TV broadcasts 132
Radio ads & radio broadcasts 38
Business related stationery 19
Telemarketing & other phone scripts 13
Total 67,571

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Figure 2.16 Advertising Regulation Filing Volumes – Investment Company Product—2019

(Percent of total filings)

 

Advertising Regulation Filing Volumes – Investment Company Product—2019

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Table 2.16 Advertising Regulation Filing Volumes – Investment Company Product, 2019

 

 

Investment Company Product Types Percentage of Total Filings
Total Registered Investment Company Products 88.7%
Total Non-Registered Investment Company Products 11.3%

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Table 2.17 Advertising Regulation Filing Volumes – Mandatory vs. Voluntary, 2015–2019

(Counts as of year-end)

 

Filing Type 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Voluntary 89,446 83,065 65,054 59,833 55,211
Voluntary 8,720 8,174 12,280 12,350 12,360

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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On October 1, 2018, FINRA announced that it was moving toward an exam and risk monitoring program structure that is based on the business models of the firms FINRA oversees. FINRA has grouped firms according to the primary business(es) in which they are engaged. The following tables break down business segments by firm size.

Table 2.18 Small Firms—Business Segments As of December 20191,2

 

 

Firm Grouping Firm Sub-Grouping Number of Firms
Capital Markets and Investment Banking Services M&A and Investment Banking 712
Capital Markets and Investment Banking Services Private Placements - Institutional Investors 282
Capital Markets and Investment Banking Services Product Originator and Wholesaler 211
Capital Markets and Investment Banking Services Niche/Other - CMIB 130
Capital Markets and Investment Banking Services Public Finance 50
Clearing and Carrying Chaperone - 15a-6 Firms 81
Clearing and Carrying Securities Financing Book 22
Clearing and Carrying Niche/Other - Clearing 15
Clearing and Carrying Correspondent Clearing 12
Diversified Small Diversified 78
Diversified Medium Diversified - Carrying/Clearing* 11
Diversified Medium Diversified - Non-Carrying/Clearing* 7
Diversified Large Diversified* 1
Retail Retail Small 407
Retail Public Pooled Investment Vehicles and Variable Annuities 239
Retail Retail Small - Independent Contractor 237
Retail Private Placements 208
Retail Fintech 32
Retail Retail with Carrying/Clearing Activities 25
Retail Retail Mid-Size & Large* 3
Retail Retail Mid-Size & Large - Independent Contractor* 2
Trading and Execution Institutional Brokerage 253
Trading and Execution Medium/Small Proprietary Trading and Market-Making 68
Trading and Execution Alternative Trading Systems (ATS's) and
Electronic Communication Networks (ECN's)
55
Trading and Execution Large Proprietary Trading and Market-Making* 10
Total   3,151

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

*The definition of firm size in FINRA’s By-Laws may differ from the Member Firm Business Segment definitions, which may consider total assets and/or total revenue in categorizing a firm.

1Small Firm = 1-150 registered representatives. Includes only FINRA-Registered firms as of year-end.

2Includes only FINRA-Registered firms as of year-end.

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Table 2.19 Mid-Size Firms—Business Segments As of December 20191,2

 

 

Firm Grouping Firm Sub-Grouping Number of Firms
Capital Markets and Investment Banking Services Product Originator and Wholesaler 43
Capital Markets and Investment Banking Services M&A and Investment Banking 14
Capital Markets and Investment Banking Services Niche/Other - CMIB 3
Capital Markets and Investment Banking Services Private Placements - Institutional Investors 1
Clearing and Carrying Correspondent Clearing 2
Clearing and Carrying Chaperone - 15a-6 Firms 1
Clearing and Carrying Niche/Other - Clearing 1
Diversified Medium Diversified - Carrying/Clearing 14
Diversified Medium Diversified - Non-Carrying/Clearing 9
Diversified* Small Diversified* 3
Retail Retail Mid-Size & Large - Independent Contractor 45
Retail Retail Mid-Size & Large 17
Retail Public Pooled Investment Vehicles and Variable Annuities 14
Retail Retail Small - Independent Contractor* 4
Retail Retail with Carrying/Clearing Activities 3
Retail Private Placements 2
Retail Retail Small* 2
Trading and Execution Institutional Brokerage 13
Trading and Execution* Large Proprietary Trading and Market-Making* 5
Trading and Execution Alternative Trading Systems (ATS's) and 
Electronic Communication Networks (ECN's)
1
Trading and Execution Medium/Small Proprietary Trading and Market-Making 1
Total   198

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

*The definition of firm size in FINRA’s By-Laws may differ from the Member Firm Business Segment definitions, which may consider total assets and/or total revenue in categorizing a firm.

1Mid-Size Firm = 151-499 registered representatives. Includes only FINRA-Registered firms as of year-end.

2Includes only FINRA-Registered firms as of year-end.

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Table 2.20 Large Firms—Business Segments As of December 20191,2

 

 

Firm Grouping Firm Sub-Grouping Number of Firms
Capital Markets and Investment Banking Services Product Originator and Wholesaler 20
Capital Markets and Investment Banking Services M&A and Investment Banking 1
Capital Markets and Investment Banking Services Private Placements - Institutional Investors 1
Clearing and Carrying Correspondent Clearing 3
Diversified Medium Diversified - Carrying/Clearing* 25
Diversified Large Diversified 13
Diversified Medium Diversified - Non-Carrying/Clearing* 8
Retail Retail Mid-Size & Large - Independent Contractor 41
Retail Public Pooled Investment Vehicles and Variable Annuities 31
Retail Retail Mid-Size & Large 16
Retail Retail with Carrying/Clearing Activities 8
Retail Private Placements 1
Total   168

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

*The definition of firm size in FINRA’s By-Laws may differ from the Member Firm Business Segment definitions, which may consider total assets and/or total revenue in categorizing a firm.

1Large Firm = 500 or more registered representatives. Includes only FINRA-Registered firms as of year-end.

2Includes only FINRA-Registered firms as of year-end.

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