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Firm Data

Table of Contents

Figure 2.1 Total Number of FINRA-Registered Firms, 2016−20201

(Count as of year-end)

 

Total Number of FINRA-Registered Firms, 2016−2020

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, 2016−20201

(Count as of year-end)

 

Firm Distribution by Size, 2016−2020

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, 2016–20201

(Counts as of year-end)

 

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Large 179 178 173 168 165
Mid-Size 194 195 192 198 191
Small 3,462 3,353 3,242 3,151 3,079
Total 3,835 3,726 3,607 3,517 3,435

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Data as of December 31, 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, 2011−20201

(Count as of year-end)

 

Securities Industry Registered Firms by Type of Registration, 2011−2020

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. "Securities Industry Registered Firms" refers to the totality of registered firms.

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Table 2.3 Securities Industry Registered Firms by Type of Registration, 2011–20201

(Counts as of year-end)

 

  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Broker-Dealer Firms Only 3,673 3,545 3,449 3,391 3,303 3,226 3,130 3,045 2,989 2,930
Dual Broker-Dealer and Investment-Adviser Firms 782 744 697 677 640 609 596 562 528 505
All FINRA-Registered Broker-Dealer Firms 4,455 4,289 4,146 4,068 3,943 3,835 3,726 3,607 3,517 3,435
Investment Adviser Firms Only 25,524 27,131 27,511 28,135 28,712 29,081 29,600 30,246 30,534 30,888
Total Registered Firms 29,979 31,420 31,657 32,203 32,655 32,916 33,326 33,853 34,051 34,323

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. "Securities Industry Registered Firms" refers to the totality of registered firms.

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Figure 2.4 Firm Distribution by Number of Branches, 2016−20201,2

(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, 2016–20201,2

(Counts as of year-end)

 

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Large 137,806 134,473 133,760 132,758 132,719
Mid-Size 10,137 10,216 9,837 10,660 9,766
Small 11,521 11,278 11,064 10,489 10,376
Total 159,464 155,967 154,661 153,907 152,861

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 by Specified Demographics, 2020

(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, 2016–2020

(Counts as of year-end)

 

Size Category 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
>1000 102 99 93 95 93
500-1000 77 79 80 73 72
301-499 69 67 65 69 66
151-300 125 128 127 129 125
101-150 100 102 101 107 112
76-100 101 85 94 83 78
51-75 164 161 165 157 174
41-50 107 116 100 100 102
31-40 166 166 167 159 133
26-30 109 118 129 114 119
21-25 167 167 155 164 124
16-20 254 260 257 236 248
11-15 405 378 378 370 374
10 or Fewer 1,889 1,800 1,696 1,661 1,615
Total 3,835 3,726 3,607 3,517 3,435

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Figure 2.6 10-Year Change in Number of FINRA-Registered Firms, 2010−2020

(Count as of year-end)

 

10-Year Change in Number of FINRA-Registered Firms, 2010−2020

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Figure 2.9 Urban-Rural Breakdown of FINRA-Registered Firms and Branches by Firm Size–20201,2

(Percent of total, as of year-end)

 

Urban-Rural Breakdown of FINRA-Registered Firms and Branches by Firm Size—2020

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—20201,2

(Count as of year-end)

 

  Firms* Branches*
  Urban % Urban Rural % Rural Urban % Urban Rural % Rural
Large 165 5% 123 30% 128,392 87% 4,238 87%
Mid-Size 190 6% 82 20% 9,360 6% 352 7%
Small 2,963 89% 211 51% 9,823 7% 280 6%
Total 3,318 100% 416 100% 147,575 100% 4,870 100%

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, 2010−2020

(Count as of year-end)

 

FINRA-Registered Firms – Median Number of Years in Business, 2010−2020

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Figure 2.11 FINRA-Registered Firms – Revenues and Expenses, 2016−2020

(In millions of U.S. dollars)

 

FINRA-Registered Broker-Dealer Firms – Aggregate Financial Information, 2016−2020

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

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Table 2.11 FINRA-Registered Firms – Aggregate Financial Information, 2016–20201

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

 

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Total Revenues $271,509.45 $305,702.76 $361,089.37 $388,153.64 $361,969.55
Total Expenses $246,194.06 $268,632.72 $318,309.31 $344,210.51 $284,757.13
Pre-Tax Net Income $25,315.39 $37,070.05 $42,780.06 $43,943.13 $77,212.41

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

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Figure 2.12 FINRA-Registered Firms – Leaving/Entering the Industry, 2006−2020

(Count as of year-end)

 

FINRA-Registered Firms – Leaving/Entering the Industry, 2006−2020

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Table 2.12 FINRA-Registered Firms – Leaving/Entering the Industry, 2006–2020

(Counts as of year-end)

 

Year Firms Leaving Percent of Total Firms Entering Percent of Total End of Year Total Firms
2006 -327 -6% 247 5% 5,026
2007 -312 -6% 288 6% 5,002
2008 -324 -7% 218 4% 4,896
2009 -341 -7% 162 3% 4,717
2010 -329 -7% 189 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 -222 -5% 144 4% 4,068
2015 -244 -6% 119 3% 3,943
2016 -231 -6% 123 3% 3,835
2017 -205 -5% 96 3% 3,726
2018 -219 -6% 100 3% 3,607
2019 -206 -6% 116 3% 3,517
2020 -210 -6% 128 4% 3,435

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Figure 2.13 FINRA-Registered Firm Branch Offices – Opening/Closing, 2010−2020

(Count as of year-end)

 

FINRA-Registered Firm Branch Offices – Opening/Closing, 2010−2020

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Table 2.13 FINRA-Registered Firm Branch Offices – Opening/Closing, 2010–2020

(Counts as of year-end)

 

Year Branches Closed Percent of Total Branches Opened Percent of Total End of Year Total Branches
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
2020 -15,987 -10% 14,941 10% 152,861

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Figure 2.14 Spotlight: Capital Acquisitions and Funding Portals, 2016−20201

(Count as of year-end)

 

Spotlight: Capital Acquisitions and Funding Portals, 2016−2020

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

1Capital Acquisition Brokers (CABs) engage in a 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, 2016−2020

(Count as of year-end)

 

Advertising Regulation Filing Volumes, 2016−2020

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Table 2.15 FINRA-Registered Firms — Most Common Marketing Methods Filed with FINRA, 2020

(Counts as of year-end)

 

Marketing Methods Total for Period 2019
Web information public access 25,087
Fund specific information sheet(s) 12,903
Flyers & other hand delivered material 4,847
Brochures, pamphlets, & catalogs 4,666
Periodic & other performance reports 3,188
E-mail, IM, SMS or text messages 3,038
Mailed sales material 2,695
Seminar related communications 1,925
Audio/Video tapes, CDs & DVDs 880
Information released to the press 724
Web information password protected 686
Print ads, posters, & signs 586
Articles & 3rd party reprints 502
Software output & IA Tools 463
Research reports - equity & debt 360
Acct statement related communications 226
Broker Dealer use only material 87
TV ads & TV broadcasts 76
Radio ads & radio broadcasts 65
Business related stationery 28
Telemarketing & other phone scripts 14
Total 63,046

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Figure 2.16 Advertising Regulation Filing Volumes – Investment Company Product, 2020

(Percentage of Total Filings)

 

Advertising Regulation Filing Volumes – Investment Company Product—2020

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Table 2.16 Advertising Regulation Filing Volumes – Investment Company Product, 2020

 

 

Investment Company Product Types Percentage of Total Filings
Total Registered Investment Company Products 87.8%
Total Non-Registered Investment Company Products 12.2%

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

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Table 2.17 Advertising Regulation Filing Volumes – Mandatory vs. Voluntary, 2016–2020

(Counts as of year-end)

 

Filing Type 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Mandatory 83,065 65,054 59,833 55,211 52,583
Voluntary 8,174 12,280 12,350 12,360 10,463

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 20201

 

 

Firm Grouping Firm Sub-Grouping Number of Firms
Capital Markets and Investment Banking Services M&A and Investment Banking 714
Capital Markets and Investment Banking Services Private Placements - Institutional Investors 309
Capital Markets and Investment Banking Services Product Originator and Wholesaler 202
Capital Markets and Investment Banking Services Niche/Other - CMIB 109
Capital Markets and Investment Banking Services Public Finance 47
Clearing and Carrying Chaperone - 15a-6 Firms 80
Clearing and Carrying Securities Financing Book 20
Clearing and Carrying Niche/Other - Clearing 16
Clearing and Carrying Correspondent Clearing 12
Diversified Small Diversified* 76
Diversified Medium Diversified - Carrying/Clearing* 12
Diversified Medium Diversified - Non-Carrying/Clearing* 8
Diversified Large Diversified* 1
Retail Retail Small* 398
Retail Public Pooled Investment Vehicles and Variable Annuities 223
Retail Retail Small - Independent Contractor* 210
Retail Private Placements 184
Retail Fintech 40
Retail Retail with Carrying/Clearing Activities 31
Retail Retail Mid-Size & Large - Independent Contractor* 6
Retail Retail Mid-Size & Large* 4
Trading and Execution Institutional Brokerage 254
Trading and Execution Medium/Small Proprietary Trading and Market-Making* 62
Trading and Execution Alternative Trading Systems (ATS's) and
Electronic Communication Networks (ECN's)
54
Trading and Execution Large Proprietary Trading and Market-Making* 7
Total   3,079

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. Small Firm = 1-150 registered representatives.

1Includes only FINRA-Registered firms as of year-end.

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Table 2.19 Mid-Size Firms – Business Segments As of December 20201

 

 

Firm Grouping Firm Sub-Grouping Number of Firms
Capital Markets and Investment Banking Services Private Placements - Institutional Investors 1
Clearing and Carrying Correspondent Clearing 3
Clearing and Carrying Chaperone - 15a-6 Firms 1
Clearing and Carrying Niche/Other - Clearing 1
Diversified Medium Diversified - Carrying/Clearing 13
Diversified Medium Diversified - Non-Carrying/Clearing 9
Diversified Small Diversified* 4
Retail Retail Mid-Size & Large - Independent Contractor* 39
Retail Retail Mid-Size & Large* 18
Retail Public Pooled Investment Vehicles and Variable Annuities 12
Retail Retail Small - Independent Contractor* 5
Retail Retail with Carrying/Clearing Activities 2
Retail Private Placements 2
Retail Retail Small* 2
Retail Fintech 1
Trading and Execution Institutional Brokerage 12
Trading and Execution Large Proprietary Trading and Market-Making* 5
Trading and Execution Medium/Small Proprietary Trading and Market-Making* 1
Total   191

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. Mid-Size Firm = 151-400 registered representatives.

1Includes only FINRA-registered firms as of year-end.

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Table 2.20 Large Firms – Business Segments As of December 20201

 

 

Firm Grouping Firm Sub-Grouping Number of Firms
Capital Markets and Investment Banking Services Product Originator and Wholesaler 19
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* 27
Diversified Large Diversified* 13
Diversified Medium Diversified - Non-Carrying/Clearing* 7
Retail Retail Mid-Size & Large - Independent Contractor* 39
Retail Public Pooled Investment Vehicles and Variable Annuities 31
Retail Retail Mid-Size & Large* 15
Retail Retail with Carrying/Clearing Activities 8
Retail Private Placements 1
Total   165

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. Large Firm = 500 or more registered representatives.

1Includes only FINRA-registered firms as of year-end.

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Table 2.21 Number of Unique Corporate Financing Filings, 2016–20201,2,3

(Counts as of year-end)

 

Total Number of Filings 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Total Public Offerings (FINRA Rule 5110) 1,232 1,553 1,524 1,604 2,304
Member Private Offerings (FINRA Rule 5122) 148 128 99 60 51
Private Placements of Securities (FINRA Rule 5123) 2,442 2,451 2,372 2,449 2,300

Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Data as of March 2021.

*The total number of unique corporate financing filings (not including amendments to filings) received by the Corporate Financing Department.

1FINRA Rule 5110 requires all public offerings in which a member participates to be filed with FINRA for review, except as exempted from the filing requirement under paragraph (h).

2FINRA Rule 5122 requires firms that offer or sell retail private placements of their own securities or that of a control entity to file offering documents and information about the issuer, the offering and the selling firms before the documents are provided to investors, except as exempted from the filing requirements under section (C).

3FINRA Rule 5123 requires firms that sell non-proprietary, retail private placements to file with FINRA's Corporate Financing Department within 15 calendar days of the date of first sale, offering documents and information about the issuer, the offering and the selling firms, except as exempted from the filing requirements under section (B). 

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