It's not just banks that are poaching reps from wirehouses and regional firms.

According to various recruiters, the tax preparation company H&R Block is in the midst of a push to hire large numbers of brokers. The company tends to be targeting the low end of the production curve, $125k and up. “They're not picky,” says a recruiter. “They're looking for up-and-comers that might have washed out at other firms.”

Block's brokerage force numbered 1,375 in January, according to the SIA.

If it's referrals a broker is after, Block is an attractive employment option. The company services 19 million clients a year, and customers using its tax return preparation services are asked whether they would consider using Block as their broker.