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"Some reps may balk at the size of LPL but others are more likely to resist having to move accounts to LPL's clearing platform," Roame said.
Bay Area-based Roame says Raymond James is "the most 'Wall Street' of the independent broker-dealers" and of what some industry-watchers refer to as regional firms (though most are now nationally focused), "so it's less of a stretch" than if a similar rival firm had acquired Alex.
"The boomers who retire over the next 20 years are going to roll over their 401(k)s, downsize their houses and sell their small businesses," said Roame. "The result will be a mass movement of money from retirement plan assets, personal assets and other illiquid assets to investable assets.
"There's a tradeoff," says Roame, "between cost and convenience.
Note that automatic call forwarding and manual roame registration are not mutually exclusive mechanisms; thus, a subscriber can request and be accessed by both automatic call forwarding from the home system and directly dialed calls to the temporary B number.
"This feels sloppy at two levels," explained Chip Roame, head of Tiburon Strategic Advisors, in an interview.
"Mid-size and smaller firms [say they] expect consolidation," said Chip Roame, head of Tiburon Strategic Advisors, a financial services consulting and research firm.
Chip Roame, head of Tiburon Strategic Advisors, agrees the number of IBDs are dwindling "for many reasons, most of them logical competitive business issues." Those include: "the movement to fee-based investing, higher compliance costs associated with FINRA, and more financial advisors going fee-only, not requiring a broker-dealer."
According to industry consultant Chip Roame, head of Tiburon Strategic Advisors, "I think the bigger message here is in [Merrill's] self-admitted need to streamline and boost productivity.