Finding the categories in which firms are succeeding and those in which firms could improve is at the heart of Investment Executive‘s (IE) Report Card series. The Advisors’ Report Card, however, is a little different.

This Report Card provides data for analyzing the major trends and issues facing the financial services sector as a whole, and is based on research obtained for the Report Cards that cover the four retail distribution channels – brokerages, mutual fund and full-service dealers, banks and insurance agencies.

Those trends and issues came to light after IE research journalists Ahmad Hathout, Megan Marrelli, Beatrice Paez and Kat Shermack spoke with 1,648 financial advisors at 38 firms. Advisors were asked to give two ratings for their firms for each category in their respective Report Card – one for their firm’s performance and a second rating indicating the category’s importance to the advisor’s business. Ratings were given on a scale of zero to 10, with zero meaning “poor” or “unimportant” and 10 meaning “excellent” or “critically important.”

Advisors also were asked the reasons why they gave their specific performance and importance ratings.

As for the firms included, there were two notable changes. Calgary-based Leede Financial Markets Inc. acquired Toronto-based Jones Gable and Co. in 2015 and was renamed Leede Jones Gable Inc. As well, Windsor, Ont.-based Sterling Mutuals Inc. purchased Waterloo, Ont.-based Armstrong & Quaile Associates Inc. in 2015.

As both acquisitions took place less than 12 months before the research for the Report Card series began, only advisors who worked with Leede and Sterling Mutuals prior to the mergers were surveyed.

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