50 Heavy Hitters Singled-Out in Annual Advisor Survey Represent $75 Billion in Assets Under Management

New York, NY - September 15, 2003 - What does it take to be the best? PRIMEDIA's Registered Rep. magazine, the source of information for investment professionals, announced today its selections for the biggest financial advisors in the U.S. Against a backdrop of three years of unprecedented change in the financial services industry, this year's survey names 50 financial advisors for their extraordinary triumphs in a tumultuous environment. The 2003 survey also profiles five of the country's top producers discussing tactics and philosophies that helped catapult them into the realm of broker super stardom.

Generally, the brokers claiming the top spots on the rankings manage more than $400 million in assets. In essence, these advisors are the Michael Jordans of the industry. To put that AUM figure in perspective, consider that Merrill Lynch's brokers, on average, oversee $77 million in assets under management. And Merrill's brokers are tops in the industry. In sum, these top 50 advisors represent approximately $75 billion in assets. The top five on the rankings control assets valued at nearly $28 billion.

The advisors making this year's list have typically logged in fifteen years or more with their current firm - a testament to their involvement in shaping and influencing their company's strategic direction.

In recognition of their super-sized success in a hostile equity market, the trade secrets of five honorees are detailed in the September issue of Registered Rep.:

  • Steve Spence - UBS (Portland, OR)

    - Far from the country's high net worth hotbeds, former Naval officer Steve Spence is finding success in an off-the-mainland way with added emphasis on mentoring and education. In his cautious preparation of clients with "lots of cash and no frame of reference for retirement," Spence has amassed a portfolio of enviable wealth - $460 million and counting.

  • Debbie Jorgensen - Merrill Lynch (San Francisco, CA)

    - Making a number of smart choices early on--including a belief in diversification and pursuit of a CFP designation at a time when major firms weren't interested in financial planning--gave Jorgensen an advantage on her peers. She now has a book pushing the half billion-dollar mark, but also relishes her role advising her company's bosses from her head position of Merrill's internal advisory council.

  • Scott Hanson and Pat McClain - Hanson/McClain Retirement Planning, Securities America (Sacramento, CA)

    - As hosts of a weekly radio show, this dynamic duo has demonstrated the sort of knowing, telepathic connection exhibited by good comedy teams. And the connection has paid in dividends, through client growth and asset growth - $200 and $400 million respectively - in one year alone with reverence to an old-fashioned philosophy that puts retirement planning at the beginning, middle and end of their clients' business.

  • Niall Gannon - Smith Barney (Clayton, MO)

    - The word selective describes Gannon's approach to the financial advisory industry. He manages over $1 billion in assets, but his clients' number fewer than 10. With a belief that less can mean more, he's climbing the upper ranks with a focus on ultra-high-net-worth families.

  • Christopher Errico - Morgan Stanley (New York, NY)

    - Since landing an internship on the Stock Exchange as a teenager, Errico was hooked. But with a family genetically programmed to succeed in the industry, he had little choice. Heeding the advice of his brother who preached attention to new assets rather than gross, Errico built a book of $650 million with 400 clients.

"This special feature demonstrates our viewpoint that it's no longer enough to tell followers of this industry that there are people out there out producing in a bear market. Instead, we give them an up close and personal look at the strategies, focus and techniques used by the best of the best in building sound strategies and solid gains all the way to the top," said David Geracioti, editor in chief of PRIMEDIA's Registered Rep. Magazine.

Rankings are based on a combination of objective and subjective factors, including production, assets under management and tenure at current firm. Brokerage firms, brokers, wholesalers, consultants and various securities-industry experts provided input. The September issue of PRIMEDIA's Registered Rep. magazine is currently available and additional information about the giants in the industry can be found at www.registeredrep.com .

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 than 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 to the Web site.



is the leading targeted media company in the United States, with positions in consumer and business-to-business markets. Our properties deliver content via print as well as video, the Internet and live events and offer highly effective advertising and marketing solutions in some of the most sought after niche markets. With 2002 sales from continuing businesses of $1.5 billion, PRIMEDIA is the #1 special interest magazine publisher in the U.S. with more than 250 titles. Our well known brands include Motor Trend, Automobile, New York, Fly Fisherman, Power & Motoryacht, Creating Keepsakes, Ward's Auto World, and Registered Rep. The company is also the #1 publisher and distributor of free consumer guides, including Apartment Guides. PRIMEDIA Television's leading brand is the Channel One Network and About is one of the largest sources of original content on the Internet. PRIMEDIA's stock symbol is: NYSE: PRM.


Media Contacts:

Laura Schramm, 212-446-1890 lschramm@sloanepr.com

Liz Airhart, 212-462-3527 eairhart@primediabusiness.com