24th Annual Outstanding Broker Awards Recognize Ten Financial Advisors for Professional Excellence, Client Trust and Community Service

New YorkMay 13, 2004Registered Rep. magazine announced today its selections for the 24th Annual Outstanding Broker Awards. The 2004 Awards recognize 10 leading brokers from various parts of the U.S. who are singled out by their peers as being among the best financial advisors in the business, also the best in maintaining client trust and, in many cases, involved in community service.

Given the unprecedented criticism that’s been leveled at the financial community recently, “this year’s Outstanding Broker Awards are a refreshing reminder that there are still exceptional reps working in the industry,” according to the awards article appearing in the May issue of Registered Rep. Registered Rep. is published by Primedia (NYSE: PRM).

The article goes on: “Unfortunately, brokers are fighting an uphill battle. Stories of heroic, altruistic brokers, while they exist, simply don’t make the front pages of newspapers and magazines. While most brokers run ethical, client-focused businesses, the industry’s conflicts of interest and its failings have created a crisis of the very thing that investors value most: trust. Trust might be the scarcest commodity in the brokerage industry, but Registered Rep.’s Outstanding Broker Award recipients know how to build it.”

David A. Geracioti, editor-in-chief of Registered Rep., added “One thing all the winners share is a commitment to earning the trust of their clients.” This year’s awards are co-sponsored by Registered Rep. and Pioneer Investment Management, Inc. The winners of The 2004 Registered Rep./Pioneer Investments Outstanding Broker Awards will be honored at a first-of-its-kind special awards dinner at the New York Stock Exchange tonight. The winners are also being recognized for their professional and personal achievements in the May issue of Registered Rep. magazine. A special profile section is devoted to each of them and can be found at registeredrep.com. (Click on “Magazine,” then “May 2004” issue date, and open article “Whom Do You Trust.”)

Registered Rep. editors accepted nominations in their search to distinguish and honor some of America’s most trusted, innovative and successful financial advisors. The editors sought input from branch managers, recruiters, clients, consultants and senior executives in determining the award winners.

The 2004 honorees are:

Michael Hull, Smith Barney, White River, Wisconsin

  • Devoted to keeping the programs of charitable institutions fully funded.

  • Says Registered Rep.: “He’s not worried about his own money—just his clients’.”

Mary Ellen Garrett, Merrill Lynch, Atlanta, Georgia

  • Chairs the Women’s Legacy of the United Way of Greater Atlanta.

  • Works with a team of five women in a $300 million business.

Bob Burke, Morgan Stanley, Walnut Creek, California

  • Holds yearly golf tournament to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

  • Focuses on retirees from Chevron Products Co. Against stock picking.

Bill Fragasso, Fragasso Group, affiliated with Linsco/Private Ledger, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • First male board member of Pittsburgh Action Against Rape.

  • 99 percent client retention rate through bull and bear markets.

Bob Harris, Harris Financial Group, affiliated with Mutual Service Corp., Colonial Heights, Virginia

  • Practice revolves around retiring phone company employees.

  • Client quote: “You’ve got to trust somebody to turn over something you’ve been saving for your whole life.”

Kevin Queally, Merrill Lynch, Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts

  • Works with New England chapter of Garth Brooks’ Teammates for Kids Foundation, also the Families First Parenting Program.

  • Viewing his clients as families is important to him.

Dick Gottfred, William Blair & Co., Chicago, Illinois

  • Has put together a winning four-person team.

  • Client quote: “The hardest thing to get from a broker is trust. They’ve got most of my money and all of my trust.”

Raymond J. Lucia, Securities America-Raymond J. Lucia Cos., San Diego, California

  • “Bullet-proofing” client portfolios; capital preservation is the top investment priority.

  • Hosts syndicated radio show in over 60 markets.

Paul Sheldon, Wachovia Securities, Westport, Connecticut

  • Three-quarters of his clients are female.

  • His investment philosophy: Protect your capital.

Sheryl Stephens, Stephens & Winton, affiliate of Raymond James Financial Services, Flint, Michigan

  • From secretary to presidency.

  • “Most of our clients have known us, and me, for more than 30 years.”

About PRIMEDIA’s Registered Rep. magazine:

Registered Rep. is the preferred magazine of retail investment professionals. Its experienced financial journalists provide readers with unbiased insight on trends, regulatory concerns, practice management and investment advice that assist them in building their practices. Each monthly issue reaches more than 93,000 direct-request subscribers who control trillions of dollars of assets for more that 30 million investors. These powerful financial advisers are licensed to sell a broad range of investment products and rely on Registered Rep.’s rich portfolio of timely features, articles, departments and columns. Integral to this coverage are the weekly Wealth Management Letter e-newsletter and daily postings on the Web site, www.registeredrep.com.

Contact: Liz Airhart, Primedia
212-462-3527

Peter Judice, Burson-Marsteller
212-614-4506