The firms that make clients the happiest face a challenge in getting millennials to stick with them.
That's the key takeaway from J.D. Power's 2018 U.S. Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study.
The survey also identified out what hard-to-please millennials are going to demand as they come to dominate the marketplace — lots of personal interaction, not just high-tech tools.
Financial firms were ranked based on a December survey of 4,419 investors who work with financial advisers for at least some of their investments. Firms were measured on a 1,000-point scale based on how they fared in categories including account information, investment performance, firm interaction, product offerings, commissions and fees, information resources and problem resolution.
No. 10: Northwestern Mutual
With a score that came in precisely at the average of all firms, Northwestern Mutual made it to the Top 10. If it's any consolation, the firm's score was higher than the 838 that won Schwab top honors last year.
The Northwestern Mutual is an American financial services mutual organization based in Milwaukee. The financial security company provides consultation on wealth and asset income protection, education planning, retirement planning, investment advisory services, trust and private client services, estate planning and business planning. Its products include life insurance, disability income, and long-term care insurance; annuities; investments; and investment advisory products and services.
Type Private (Mutual)
Industry Financial Services
Headquarters Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Key people John Schlifske, chairman and CEO, Greg Oberland, president
Products Insurance and investments
Revenue Increase$28.158 billion USD (2016)
Increase $818 million USD (2016)
Number of employees 7,500 (2017)
No. 9: Raymond James
The firm slipped from eighth place in last year's survey, but its satisfaction score was much higher than the 819 it posted last year.
Raymond James Financial is an American diversified holding company providing financial services to individuals, corporations and municipalities through its subsidiary companies that engage primarily in investment and financial planning, in addition to investment banking and asset management.
Traded as NYSE: RJF S&P 500 Component
Industry Investment services
Founded 1962; 56 years ago
Founder Robert James
Headquarters St. Petersburg, Florida, United States
Key people Tom James (Chairman Emeritus) Paul Reilly (Chairman and CEO)
Products Financial services, securities and insurance brokerage, investment banking, asset management, banking and cash management, trust services.
Revenue Increase 6.37 billion USD (2017)
Increase $636.3 million USD (2017)
Nos. 8, 7 and 6: UBS, LPL and Fidelity
The three-way tie belies some key differences from last year. UBS, for instance, fell from fifth place last year, but its score rose from 827.
Fidelity fell from its No. 2 position last year, but its score also rose — from 835.
And last year, LPL wasn't among the Top 10.
No. 5: Merrill Lynch
The giant moved up sharply from ninth place last year, and its satisfaction score jumped from 819.
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management is a wealth management division of Bank of America. The firm is headquartered in New York City, and occupies the entire 34 stories of 250 Vesey Street, part of the Brookfield Place complex, in Manhattan. Merrill Lynch employs over 15,000 financial advisors and manages $2.2 trillion in client assets.
The firm has its origins in Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. which, prior to 2009, was publicly owned and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol MER. Merrill Lynch & Co. agreed to be acquired by Bank of America on September 14, 2008, at the height of the 2008 Financial Crisis. The acquisition was completed in January 2009 and Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. was merged into Bank of America Corporation in October 2013, although certain Bank of America subsidiaries continue to carry the Merrill Lynch name, including the broker-dealer Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith.
No. 4: RBC Wealth Management
RBC is another instance of a firm making the Top 10 list this year after having a less-than-stellar ranking in 2017.
For more than a century, RBC Wealth Management has provided trusted advice and wealth management solutions to individuals, families and institutions. We are a global organization, bringing our diverse expertise and deep knowledge to the sophisticated financial needs of our clients around the world. We are committed to earning our client’s trust by building lasting relationships and confidence, putting your interests first in everything we do. Every interaction with us is defined through our core values and culture of doing what’s right for our clients and the communities we operate in. Forward-looking, innovative and committed helping our clients thrive and communities prosper – we are the partner you can depend on to help you achieve your financial goals.
No. 3: Stifel Nicolau
The firm improved its leadership position, moving up from last year's sixth spot and its 2017 score of 826.
Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE: SF) is a financial services holding company created under its present name in July 1983 and listed on the New York Stock Exchange on November 24, 1986. Its predecessor company was founded in 1890 as the Altheimer and Rawlings Investment Company and is headquartered in downtown St. Louis, Missouri.
Stifel offers securities-related financial services in the United States and Europe through several wholly owned subsidiaries. Its clients are served through Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated (Stifel Nicolaus) in the U.S., a full-service retail and institutional brokerage and investment banking firm, through Stifel Nicolaus Canada Inc. in Canada, and through Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited (SNEL) in the United Kingdom and Europe. Its other subsidiaries include Thomas Weisel Partners LLC (TWP), Century Securities Associates, Inc. (CSA), an independent contractor broker-dealer firm, and Stifel Bank & Trust, a retail and commercial bank. The company's broker-dealer affiliates provide securities brokerage, trading, investment banking, investment advisory, and related financial services to individual investors, professional money managers, businesses, and municipalities. Stifel Bank & Trust offers a full range of consumer and commercial lending solutions. Stifel Trust Company, N.A. offers trust and related services.
Traded as NYSE: SF S&P 400 Component
Industry Investment services
Founded 1890; 128 years ago
Headquarters St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Key people Ronald J. Kruszewski (Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO)
Revenue US$ 2.2 billion (2014)
No. of employees 5,266 (2012)
No. 2: Edward Jones
The St. Louis-based giant inched up from the No. 3 spot last year and improved its satisfaction score from 833.
Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P., since 1995 simplified as Edward Jones is a financial services firm headquartered in Des Peres, Missouri, United States and serves investment clients in the U.S. and Canada, through its branch network of more than 14,000 locations and currently have relationships with nearly 7 million clients and $1 trillion asset under management worldwide. The firm focuses solely on individual investors and small-business owners. Edward Jones is a subsidiary of The Jones Financial Companies, L.L.L.P., a limited liability limited partnership owned only by its employees and retired employees and is not publicly traded.
Industry Investment services
Founder Edward D. Jones
Headquarters Des Peres, Missouri, United States
Revenue US$6.632 billion (2016)
Net income US$746 million (2016)
Total assets US$19.424 billion (2016)
Number of employees 43,000 (2016)
Parent The Jones Financial Companies
No. 1: Charles Schwab
Schwab not only retained the lead position that it held last year, it also increased its customer satisfaction from a score of 838.
The Charles Schwab Corporation is a bank and brokerage firm, based in San Francisco, California. It was founded in 1971 by Charles R. Schwab and is one of the largest banks in the United States and is one of the largest brokerage firms in the United States. The company provides services for individuals and institutions that are investing online. The company offers an electronic trading platform for the purchase and sale of financial securities including common stocks, preferred stocks, futures contracts, exchange-traded funds, options, mutual funds, and fixed income investments. It also provides margin lending, and cash management services, as well as services through registered investment advisers.
Industry Financial services
Founded 1971; 47 years ago (as Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.)
Founder Charles R. Schwab
Headquarters San Francisco, California, U.S.
Number of locations 345 branches
Services Brokerage firm
Revenue US$8.62 billion (2017)
Operating income US$3.65 billion (2017)
Net income US$2.35 billion (2017)
AUM US$3.36 trillion (2017)
Total assets US$243.27 billion (2017)
Total equity US$18.53 billion (2017)
Number of employees 17,600 (2017)
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