10-K 1 sf-10k_20151231.htm 10-K sf-10k_20151231.htm

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C.  20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE

SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015

Commission File Number: 001-09305

 

STIFEL FINANCIAL CORP.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

Delaware

 

43-1273600

(State or other jurisdiction of

 

(I.R.S. Employer

incorporation or organization)

 

Identification No.)

 

501 North Broadway, St. Louis, Missouri 63102-2188

(Address of principal executive offices and zip code)

(314) 342-2000

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of Each Class

 

Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered

Common Stock, $0.15 par value per share

 

New York Stock Exchange

 

 

Chicago Stock Exchange

Preferred Stock Purchase Rights

 

New York Stock Exchange

 

 

Chicago Stock Exchange

5.375% Senior Notes Due 2022

 

New York Stock Exchange

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:  None

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.     Yes x     No o

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.     Yes o     No x

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“the Exchange Act”) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes x    No o

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  x

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes x    No o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).

 

Large accelerated filer

 

x

Accelerated filer

 

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-accelerated filer

 

o  (Do not check if smaller reporting company)

Smaller reporting company

 

o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes o    No x

The aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock, $0.15 par value per share, held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of the close of business on June 30, 2015, was $4.2 billion.1

The number of shares outstanding of the registrant’s common stock, $0.15 par value per share, as of the close of business on February 19, 2016, was 69,507,842.

1

In determining this amount, the registrant assumed that the executive officers and directors of the registrant are affiliates of the registrant. Such assumptions shall not be deemed to be conclusive for any other purposes.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the Proxy Statement for the annual meeting of shareholders, to be filed within 120 days of our fiscal year ended December 31, 2015, are incorporated by reference in Part III hereof.

 

 

 

 


STIFEL FINANCIAL CORP.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

Part I

 

 

 

 

Item 1.

Business

1

 

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

12

 

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

24

 

Item 2.

Properties

24

 

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

25

 

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

26

Part II

 

 

 

 

Item 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters, and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

27

 

Item 6.

Selected Financial Data

29

 

Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

31

 

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

69

 

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

73

 

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

136

 

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

136

 

Item 9B.

Other Information

138

Part III

 

 

 

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers, and Corporate Governance

139

 

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

139

 

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

139

 

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

140

 

Item 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

140

Part IV

 

 

 

 

Item 15.

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

141

 

 

Signatures

145

 

 

 


PART I

Certain statements in this report may be considered forward-looking. Statements that are not historical or current facts, including statements about beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements cover, among other things, statements made about general economic, political, regulatory, and market conditions, the investment banking and brokerage industries, our objectives and results, and also may include our belief regarding the effect of various legal proceedings, management expectations, our liquidity and funding sources, counterparty credit risk, or other similar matters. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, and important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated, including those factors discussed below under “Risk Factors” in Item 1A as well as those discussed in “External Factors Impacting Our Business” included in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Part II, Item 7 of this report.

Because of these and other uncertainties, our actual future results may be materially different from the results indicated by these forward-looking statements. In addition, our past results of operations do not necessarily indicate our future results. We undertake no obligation to publicly release any revisions to the forward-looking statements or reflect events or circumstances after the date of this document.

 

 

ITEM 1.  BUSINESS

Stifel Financial Corp. is a Delaware corporation and a financial holding company headquartered in St. Louis. We were organized in 1983. Our principal subsidiary is Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated (“Stifel”), a full-service retail and institutional wealth management and investment banking firm. Stifel is the successor to a partnership founded in 1890. Our other subsidiaries include Century Securities Associates, Inc. (“CSA”), an independent contractor broker-dealer firm; Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. (“KBW”), Miller Buckfire & Co. LLC (“Miller Buckfire”), Sterne Agee Group, Inc. and broker-dealer firms; Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited (“SNEL”), our European subsidiary; Stifel Bank & Trust (“Stifel Bank”), a retail and commercial bank; 1919 Investment Counsel & Trust Company, National Association (“1919 Investment Counsel”) and Stifel Trust Company Delaware, N.A. (“Stifel Trust”), our trust companies; and 1919 Investment Counsel, LLC (“1919”) and Ziegler Capital Management, LLC (“ZCM”), asset management firms. Unless the context requires otherwise, the terms “the Company,” “our company,” “we,” and “our,” as used herein, refer to Stifel Financial Corp. and its subsidiaries.

With a 125-year operating history, we have built a diversified business serving private clients, institutional investors, and investment banking clients located across the country. Our principal activities are:

 

·

Private client services, including securities transaction and financial planning services;

 

·

Institutional equity and fixed income sales, trading and research, and municipal finance;

 

·

Investment banking services, including mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, and private placements; and

 

·

Retail and commercial banking, including personal and commercial lending programs.

Our core philosophy is based upon a tradition of trust, understanding, and studied advice. We attract and retain experienced professionals by fostering a culture of entrepreneurial, long-term thinking. We provide our private, institutional, and corporate clients quality, personalized service, with the theory that if we place clients’ needs first, both our clients and our company will prosper. Our unwavering client and employee focus have earned us a reputation as one of the nation’s leading wealth management and investment banking firms.

We have grown our business both organically and through opportunistic acquisitions. Over the past several years, we have grown substantially, primarily by completing and successfully integrating a number of acquisitions, including our acquisition of the capital markets business of Legg Mason (“LM Capital Markets”) from Citigroup in December 2005 and the following acquisitions:

 

·

Ryan Beck Holdings, Inc. (“Ryan Beck”) and its wholly owned broker-dealer subsidiary, Ryan Beck & Company, Inc. – On February 28, 2007, we closed on the acquisition of Ryan Beck, a full-service brokerage and investment banking firm with a strong private client focus, from BankAtlantic Bancorp, Inc.

 

·

First Service Financial Company (“First Service”) and its wholly owned subsidiary, FirstService Bank – On April 2, 2007, we completed our acquisition of First Service, and its wholly owned subsidiary FirstService Bank, a St. Louis-based Missouri commercial bank. Upon consummation of the acquisition, we became a bank holding company and a financial holding company, subject to the supervision and regulation of The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. First Service now operates as Stifel Bank & Trust.

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·

Butler, Wick & Co., Inc. (“Butler Wick”) – On December 31, 2008, we closed on the acquisition of Butler Wick, a privately held broker-dealer which specialized in providing financial advice to individuals, municipalities, and corporate clients.

 

·

UBS Financial Services Inc. (“UBS”) – During the third and fourth quarters of 2009, we acquired 56 branches from the UBS Wealth Management Americas branch network.

 

·

Thomas Weisel Partners Group, Inc. (“TWPG”) – On July 1, 2010, we acquired TWPG, an investment bank focused principally on the growth sectors of the economy, including technology and health care. This acquisition expanded our investment banking presence on the west coast of the United States.

 

·

Stone & Youngberg LLC (“Stone & Youngberg”) – On October 1, 2011, we acquired Stone & Youngberg, a leading financial services firm specializing in municipal finance and fixed income securities. Stone & Youngberg’s comprehensive institutional group expanded our public finance, institutional sales and trading, and bond underwriting, particularly in the Arizona and California markets, and expanded our Private Client Group.

 

·

Miller Buckfire – On December 20, 2012, we acquired Miller Buckfire, an investment banking firm. Miller Buckfire provides a full range of investment banking advisory services, including financial restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, and debt and equity placements.

 

·

KBW – On February 15, 2013, we acquired KBW, an investment banking firm with a focus in the banking, insurance, brokerage, asset management, mortgage banking, real estate, and specialty finance sectors. KBW maintains industry-leading positions in research, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, as well as sales and trading in equities and debt securities of financial services companies.

 

·

Fixed Income Sales and Trading Business from Knight Capital – On July 1, 2013, we completed the acquisition of the U.S. institutional fixed income sales and trading business and the hiring of the European institutional fixed income sales and trading team from Knight Capital Group, Inc. The combined teams of sales and trading professionals in the U.S. and Europe cover high-yield and investment-grade corporate bonds, asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities, loan trading, and emerging markets, as well as fixed income research in selected sectors and companies.

 

·

Acacia Federal Savings Bank (“Acacia Federal”) – On October 31, 2013, Stifel Bank completed its acquisition of Acacia Federal Savings Bank, a federally chartered savings institution.

 

·

ZCM – On November 30, 2013, we acquired ZCM, an asset management firm that provides investment solutions for institutions, mutual fund sub-advisory clients, municipalities, pension plans, Taft-Hartley plans, and individual investors.

 

·

De La Rosa – On April 3, 2014, we acquired De La Rosa, a California-based public finance investment banking boutique. The addition of the De La Rosa team is expected to further strengthen our company’s position in a number of key underwriting markets in California.

 

·

Oriel – On July 31, 2014, we completed the acquisition of Oriel, a London-based stockbroking and investment banking firm. The combination of our company and Oriel has created a significant middle-market investment banking group in London, with broad research coverage across most sectors of the economy, equity and debt sales and trading, and investment banking services.

 

·

1919 Investment Counsel, formerly known as Legg Mason Investment Counsel & Trust Co., National Association – On November 7, 2014, we completed the acquisition of 1919 Investment Counsel, an asset management firm and trust company that provides customized investment advisory and trust services, on a discretionary basis, to individuals, families, and institutions throughout the country.

 

·

Merchant – On December 31, 2014, we acquired Merchant, a public finance investment banking firm headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama, which serves the Southeastern market. The strategic combination of Stifel and Merchant Capital is expected to further strengthen our company’s position in several key underwriting markets in the Southeast.

 

·

Sterne Agee Group, Inc. – On June 5, 2015, we completed the purchase of all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Sterne Agee Group, Inc. (“Sterne Agee”), a financial service firm that offers comprehensive wealth management and investment service to a diverse client base including corporations, municipalities and individual investors.

 

·

Barclays’ Wealth and Investment Management – On December 4, 2015, we completed the purchase of the Barclays’ Wealth and Investment Management (“Barclays”), Americas franchise in the U.S.

Business Segments

We operate in the following segments: Global Wealth Management, Institutional Group, and Other. For a discussion of the financial results of our segments, see Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Segment Analysis.”

2



3


Narrative Description of Business

As of December 31, 2015, we employed over 7,100 associates, including 2,891 financial advisors, of which 719 are independent contractors. As of December 31, 2015, through our broker-dealer subsidiaries, we provide securities-related financial services to over 1.5 million client accounts of customers from the United States and Europe. Our customers include individuals, corporations, municipalities, and institutions. We have customers throughout the United States, with a growing presence in the United Kingdom and Europe. No single client accounts for a material percentage of any segment of our business. Our inventory, which we believe is of modest size and intended to turn over quickly, exists to facilitate order flow and support the investment strategies of our clients. The inventory of securities held to facilitate customer trades and our market-making activities are sensitive to market movements. Furthermore, our balance sheet is highly liquid, without material holdings of securities that are difficult to value or remarket. We believe that our broad platform, fee-based revenues, and strong distribution network position us well to take advantage of current trends within the financial services sector.

GLOBAL WEALTH MANAGEMENT

We provide securities transaction, brokerage, and investment services to our clients through the consolidated Stifel branch system. We have made significant investments in personnel and technology to grow the Private Client Group over the past ten years.

Consolidated Stifel Branch System

At December 31, 2015, the Private Client Group had a network of 2,172 financial advisors located in 329 branch offices in 45 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, we have 719 independent contractors.

Our financial advisors provide a broad range of investments and services to our clients, including financial planning services. We offer equity securities; taxable and tax-exempt fixed income securities, including municipal, corporate, and government agency securities; preferred stock; and unit investment trusts. We also offer a broad range of externally managed fee-based products. In addition, we offer insurance and annuity products and investment company shares through agreements with numerous third-party distributors. We encourage our financial advisors to pursue the products and services that best fit their clients’ needs and that they feel most comfortable recommending. Our private clients may choose from a traditional, commission-based structure or fee-based money management programs. In most cases, commissions are charged for sales of investment products to clients based on an established commission schedule. In certain cases, varying discounts may be given based on relevant client or trade factors determined by the financial advisor.

Our independent contractors provide the same types of financial products and services to its private clients as does Stifel. Under their contractual arrangements, these independent contractors may also provide accounting services, real estate brokerage, insurance, or other business activities for their own account. Independent contractors are responsible for all of their direct costs and are paid a larger percentage of commissions to compensate them for their added expenses. CSA is an introducing broker-dealer and, as such, clears its transactions through Stifel. Sterne clears its transactions through Sterne Agee Clearing, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of our company.

Customer Financing

Client securities transactions are effected on either a cash or margin basis. When securities are purchased on a margin basis, the customer deposits less than the full cost of the security in their account. We make a loan to the customer for the balance of the purchase price. Such loans are collateralized by the purchased securities. The amounts of the loans are subject to the margin requirements of Regulation T of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) margin requirements, and our internal policies, which usually are more restrictive than Regulation T or FINRA requirements. In permitting customers to purchase securities on margin, we are subject to the risk of a market decline, which could reduce the value of our collateral below the amount of the customers’ indebtedness.

We offer securities-based lending through Stifel Bank, which allows clients to borrow money against the value of qualifying securities for any suitable purpose other than purchasing, trading, or carrying marketable securities or refinancing margin debt. The loan requirements are subject to Regulation U of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (“Regulation U”) and our internal policies, which are typically more restrictive than Regulation U. We establish approved lines and advance rates against qualifying securities and monitor limits daily and, pursuant to such guidelines, require customers to deposit additional collateral or reduce debt positions, when necessary. Factors considered in the review of securities-based lending are the amount of the loan, the degree of concentrated or restricted positions, and the overall evaluation of the portfolio to ensure proper diversification, or, in the case of concentrated positions, appropriate liquidity of the underlying collateral or potential hedging strategies. Underlying collateral for securities-based loans is reviewed with respect to the liquidity of the proposed collateral positions, valuation of securities, historic trading range, volatility analysis, and an evaluation of industry concentrations.

4


Asset Management

The Asset Management segment includes the operations of ZCM and 1919 Investment Counsel, and Stifel Trust. Our asset management business offers specialized investment management solutions for institutions, private clients and investment advisors. Revenues for this segment are primarily generated by the investment advisory fees related to asset management services provided for individual and institutional investment portfolios, along with mutual funds. Investment advisory fees are earned on assets held in managed or non-discretionary asset-based programs. These fees are computed based on balances either at the beginning of the quarter, the end of the quarter, or average daily assets. Consistent with industry practice, fees from private client investment portfolios are typically based on asset values at the beginning of the period while institutional fees are typically based on asset values at the end of the period. Asset balances are impacted by both the performance of the market and sales and redemptions of client accounts/funds. Rising markets have historically had a positive impact on investment advisory fee revenues as existing accounts increase in value, and individuals and institutions may commit incremental funds in rising markets. No single client accounts for a material percentage of this segment’s total business.

Stifel Bank

In April 2007, we completed the acquisition of First Service, a St. Louis-based full-service bank, which now operates as Stifel Bank & Trust and is reported in the Global Wealth Management segment. Since the closing of the bank acquisition, we have grown retail and commercial bank assets from $145.6 million on acquisition date to $7.3 billion at December 31, 2015. Through Stifel Bank, we offer retail and commercial banking services to private and corporate clients, including personal loan programs, such as fixed and variable mortgage loans, home equity lines of credit, personal loans, loans secured by CDs or savings, and securities-based loans, as well as commercial lending programs, such as small business loans, commercial real estate loans, lines of credit, credit cards, term loans, and inventory and receivables financing, in addition to other banking products. We believe Stifel Bank not only helps us serve our private clients more effectively by offering them a broader range of services, but also enables us to better utilize our private client cash balances held on deposit at Stifel Bank, which is its primary source of funding.

INSTITUTIONAL GROUP

The Institutional Group segment includes research, equity and fixed income institutional sales and trading, investment banking, public finance, and syndicate.

Research

Our research department publishes research across multiple industry groups and provides our clients with timely, insightful, and actionable research, aimed at improving investment performance.

Institutional Sales and Trading

Our equity sales and trading team distributes our proprietary equity research products and communicates our investment recommendations to our client base of institutional investors, executes equity trades, sells the securities of companies for which we act as an underwriter, and makes a market in domestic securities. In our various sales and trading activities, we take a focused approach to serving our clients by maintaining inventory to facilitate order flow and support the investment strategies of our institutional fixed income clients, as opposed to seeking trading profits through proprietary trading. Located in various cities in the United States as well as Geneva, Zurich, London, and Madrid, our equity sales and trading team, service over 2,200 clients globally.

The fixed income institutional sales and trading group is comprised of taxable and tax-exempt sales departments. Our institutional sales and trading group executes trades with diversification across municipal, corporate, government agency, and mortgage-backed securities.

Investment Banking

Our investment banking activities include the provision of financial advisory services principally with respect to mergers and acquisitions and the execution of public offerings and private placements of debt and equity securities. The investment banking group focuses on middle-market companies as well as on larger companies in targeted industries where we have particular expertise, which include real estate, financial services, healthcare, aerospace/defense and government services, telecommunications, transportation, energy, business services, consumer services, industrial, technology, and education.

Our syndicate department coordinates marketing, distribution, pricing, and stabilization of our managed equity and debt offerings.  In addition, the department coordinates our underwriting participations and selling group opportunities managed by other investment banking firms.

5


Public Finance

Our public finance group acts as an underwriter and dealer in bonds issued by states, cities, and other political subdivisions and acts as manager or participant in offerings managed by other firms.

OTHER SEGMENT

The Other segment includes interest income from stock borrow activities, unallocated interest expense, interest income and gains and losses from investments held, compensation expense associated with the expensing of restricted stock awards with no continuing service requirements as a result of acquisitions completed during 2015, and all unallocated overhead cost associated with the execution of orders; processing of securities transactions; custody of client securities; receipt, identification, and delivery of funds and securities; compliance with regulatory and legal requirements; internal financial accounting and controls; and general administration and acquisition charges.

BUSINESS CONTINUITY

We have developed a business continuity plan that is designed to permit continued operation of business-critical functions in the event of disruptions to our St. Louis, Missouri headquarters facility. Several critical business applications are supported by our outside vendors who maintain backup capabilities. We periodically participate in testing these backup facilities. Likewise, the business functions that we run internally can be supported without the St. Louis headquarters through a combination of redundant computer facilities in other east and west coast data centers and from certain branch locations that can connect to our third-party securities processing vendor through its primary or redundant facilities. Systems have been designed so that we can route mission-critical processing activity to alternate locations, which can be staffed with relocated personnel as appropriate.

GROWTH STRATEGY

We believe our strategy for growth will allow us to increase our revenues and to expand our role with clients as a valued partner. In executing our growth strategy, we take advantage of the consolidation among mid-tier firms, which we believe provides us opportunities in our global wealth and institutional group segments. We do not create specific growth or business plans for any particular type of acquisition, focus on specific firms, or geographic expansion, nor do we establish quantitative goals, such as intended numbers of new hires or new office openings; however, our corporate philosophy has always been to be in a position to take advantage of opportunities as they arise, while maintaining sufficient levels of capital. We intend to pursue the following strategies with discipline:

·

Further expand our private client footprint in the U.S.  We have expanded the number of our private client branches from 39 at December 31, 1997 to 329 at December 31, 2015, and our branch-based financial advisors from 262 to 2,172 over the same period. In addition, assets under management have grown from $11.7 billion at December 31, 1997 to $234.1 billion at December 31, 2015. Through organic growth and acquisitions, we have built a strong footprint nationally. Over time, we plan to further expand our domestic private client footprint. We plan on achieving this through recruiting experienced financial advisors with established client relationships and continuing to selectively consider acquisition opportunities as they may arise.

·

Further expand our institutional business both domestically and internationally.  Our institutional equity business is built upon the premise that high-quality fundamental research is not a commodity. The growth of our business over the last 10 years has been fueled by the effective partnership of our highly rated research and institutional sales and trading teams. We have identified opportunities to expand our research capabilities by taking advantage of market disruptions. As of December 31, 2015, our research department was ranked the second largest research department, as measured by domestic equities under coverage, by StarMine. Our goal is to further monetize our research platform by adding additional institutional sales and trading teams and by placing a greater emphasis on client management.

·

Grow our investment banking business.  By leveraging our industry expertise, our product knowledge, our research platform, our experienced associates, our capital markets strength, our middle-market focus, and our private client network, we intend to grow our investment banking business. The merger with TWPG in 2010, our acquisition of Miller Buckfire in 2012, the merger with KBW in 2013, and the acquisitions of De La Rosa and Oriel in 2014, has accelerated the growth of our investment banking business through expanded industry, product, and geographic coverage, including capital-raising for start-up companies, particularly from the venture community. We believe our position as a middle-market focused investment bank with broad-based and respected research will allow us to take advantage of opportunities in the middle market and continue to align our investment banking coverage with our research footprint.

·

Focus on asset generation within Stifel Bank and offer retail and commercial banking services to our clients.  We believe the banking services provided through Stifel Bank strengthens our existing client relationships and helps us recruit financial advisors

6


seeking to provide a full range of services to their private clients. We intend to increase the sale of banking products and services to our private and corporate clients.

·

Establishment of Stifel Trust  During 2011, we received approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) to form a trust company. Stifel Trust provides a wide range of trust, investment, agency, and custodial services for our individual and corporate clients. We intend to expand our offering of trust services to our private client group clients. We have expanded our trust capabilities with the acquisition of 1919 Investment Counsel during 2014 and Barclays’ Wealth Trust in 2015. These businesses have been merged and operate as Stifel Trust.

·

Approach acquisition opportunities with discipline.  Over the course of our operating history, we have demonstrated our ability to identify, effect, and integrate attractive acquisition opportunities. We believe the current environment and market dislocation will continue to provide us with the ability to thoughtfully consider acquisitions on an opportunistic basis.

COMPETITION

We compete with other securities firms, some of which offer their customers a broader range of brokerage services, have substantially greater resources, and may have greater operating efficiencies. In addition, we face increasing competition from other financial institutions, such as commercial banks, online service providers, and other companies offering financial services. The Financial Modernization Act, signed into law in late 1999, lifted restrictions on banks and insurance companies, permitting them to provide financial services once dominated by securities firms. In addition, recent consolidation in the financial services industry may lead to increased competition from larger, more diversified organizations.

As we enter our 125th year in business, we continue to rely on the expertise acquired in our market area, our personnel, and our equity capital to operate in the competitive environment.

REGULATION

Financial Holding Company Regulation

Under U.S. law, we are a bank holding company that has elected to be a financial holding company under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended (“BHCA”). Consequently, our company and its business activities are subject to the supervision, examination, and regulation of the Federal Reserve Board. The BHCA and other federal laws subject bank and financial holding companies to particular restrictions on the types of activities in which they may engage and to a range of supervisory requirements and activities, including regulatory enforcement actions for violations of laws and regulations. Supervision and regulation of bank holding companies, financial holding companies, and their subsidiaries are intended primarily for the protection of depositors and other clients of banking subsidiaries, the deposit insurance fund of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), and the banking system as a whole, but not for the protection of stockholders or other creditors.

As a financial holding company, we are permitted: (1) to engage in other activities that the Federal Reserve Board, working with the Secretary of the Treasury, determines to be financial in nature, incidental to an activity that is financial in nature, or complementary to a financial activity and that do not pose a substantial risk to the safety and soundness of depository institutions or the financial system generally, or (2) to acquire shares of companies engaged in such activities. We may not, however, directly or indirectly acquire the ownership or control of more than 5% of any class of voting shares, or substantially all of the assets, of a bank holding company or a bank without the prior approval of the Federal Reserve Board.

In order to maintain our status as a financial holding company, we must remain “well capitalized” and “well managed” under applicable regulations. Failure to meet one or more of the requirements would mean, depending on the requirements not met, that we could not undertake new activities, make acquisitions other than those permitted generally for bank holding companies, or continue certain activities.

Subsidiary Regulation

The securities industry in the United States is subject to extensive regulation under federal and state laws. The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) is the federal agency charged with the administration of the federal securities laws. Much of the regulation of broker-dealers, however, has been delegated to self-regulatory organizations (“SRO”), principally FINRA and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, and securities exchanges. SROs adopt rules (which are subject to approval by the SEC) that govern the industry and conduct periodic examinations of member broker-dealers. Securities firms are also subject to regulation by state securities commissions in the states in which they are registered. A number of changes have been proposed to the rules and regulations that govern our securities business, and other rules and regulations have been adopted, which may result in changes in the way we conduct our business.

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As a result of federal and state registration and SRO memberships, broker-dealers are subject to overlapping schemes of regulation that cover all aspects of their securities businesses. Such regulations cover matters including capital requirements; uses and safekeeping of clients’ funds; conduct of directors, officers, and employees; recordkeeping and reporting requirements; supervisory and organizational procedures intended to ensure compliance with securities laws and to prevent improper trading on material nonpublic information; employee-related matters, including qualification and licensing of supervisory and sales personnel; limitations on extensions of credit in securities transactions; clearance and settlement procedures; requirements for the registration, underwriting, sale, and distribution of securities; and rules of the SROs designed to promote high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade. A particular focus of the applicable regulations concerns the relationship between broker-dealers and their customers. As a result, many aspects of the broker-dealer customer relationship are subject to regulation, including, in some instances, “suitability” determinations as to certain customer transactions, limitations on the amounts that may be charged to customers, timing of proprietary trading in relation to customers’ trades, and disclosures to customers.

Additional legislation, changes in rules promulgated by the SEC and by SROs, and changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing laws and rules often directly affect the method of operation and profitability of broker-dealers. The SEC and the SROs conduct regular examinations of our broker-dealer subsidiaries and also initiate targeted and other specific inquiries from time to time, which generally include the investigation of issues involving substantial portions of the securities industry. The SEC and the SROs may conduct administrative proceedings, which can result in censures, fines, suspension, or expulsion of a broker-dealer, its officers, or employees. The principal purpose of regulation and discipline of broker-dealers is the protection of customers and the securities markets rather than the protection of creditors and stockholders of broker-dealers.

The SEC is the federal agency charged with administration of the federal securities laws. Financial services firms are also subject to regulation by state securities commissions in those states in which they conduct business. The SEC recently adopted amendments, most of which were effective October 2013, to its financial responsibility rules, including changes to the net capital rule, the customer protection rule, the record-keeping rules and the notification rules applicable to our broker-dealer subsidiaries. We continue to evaluate the impact of these amendments on our broker-dealer subsidiaries; however, based on our current analyses, we do not believe they will have a material adverse effect on any of our broker-dealer subsidiaries.

Our U.S. broker-dealer subsidiaries are subject to the Securities Investor Protection Act and are members of Securities Investors Protection Corporation (“SIPC”), whose primary function is to provide financial protection for the customers of failing brokerage firms. SIPC provides protection for customers up to $500,000, of which a maximum of $250,000 may be in cash.

Stifel Bank is a Federal Reserve member Bank, its deposits are insured by the FDIC up to the maximum authorized limit, and it is subject to regulation by the Federal Reserve Bank, as well as the Missouri Division of Finance.

Several of our wholly owned subsidiaries, including Missouri Valley Partners, Choice Financial Partners, Inc., Thomas Weisel Capital Management LLC, Thomas Weisel Asset Management LLC, Thomas Weisel Global Growth Partners LLC, ZCM, and 1919 Investment Counsel, are registered as investment advisers with the SEC and, therefore, are subject to its regulation and oversight.

Stifel Trust is subject to regulation by the OCC. This regulation focuses on, among other things, ensuring the safety and soundness of Stifel Trust’s fiduciary services.

Non-U.S. Regulation

Our non-U.S. subsidiaries are subject to applicable laws and regulations of the jurisdictions in which they operate.

Our European subsidiary, SNEL, is subject to the regulatory supervision and requirements of the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) in the United Kingdom, and both SNEL and Oriel are members of the London Stock Exchange. The FCA exercises broad supervisory and disciplinary powers that include the power to temporarily or permanently revoke authorization to conduct a regulated business upon breach of the relevant regulations, suspend approved persons, and impose  fines (where applicable) on both regulated businesses and their approved persons. SNEL operates representative offices in Geneva, Switzerland and Zurich, Switzerland, and has a branch office in Madrid, Spain. In addition to the FCA, these offices are subject to the local regulations of their respective jurisdictions. SNEL holds a number of FCA-passporting rights to engage in Markets in Financial Instruments Directive-related business in Europe.

The Dodd-Frank Act

The financial services industry in the U.S. is subject to extensive regulation under federal and state laws. During our fiscal year 2010, the U.S. government enacted financial services reform legislation known as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”). Because of the nature of our business and our business practices, we presently do not expect the

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Dodd-Frank Act to have a significant direct impact on our operations as a whole. However, because some of the implementing regulations have yet to be adopted by various regulatory agencies, the specific impact on some of our businesses remains uncertain.

In July 2013, the OCC, the Federal Reserve Board, and the FDIC released final United States Basel III regulatory capital rules implementing the global regulatory capital reforms of Basel III and certain changes required by the Dodd-Frank Act. The rule increases the quantity and quality of regulatory capital, establishes a capital conservation buffer, and makes selected changes to the calculation of risk-weighted assets. The rule become effective for us on January 1, 2015, subject to a transition period for several aspects of the rule, including the new minimum capital ratio requirements, the capital conservation buffer, and the regulatory capital adjustments and deductions. Based on our current analyses, our company and Stifel Bank are well-capitalized. However, the increased capital requirements could restrict our ability to grow during favorable market conditions or require us to raise additional capital. As a result, our business, results of operations, financial condition, or prospects could be adversely affected. See Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” within this Form 10-K for more information.

In December 2013, U.S. regulators issued final regulations to implement the Volcker Rule. The Volcker Rule will, over time, prohibit “banking entities,” including our company and its affiliates, from engaging in certain prohibited “proprietary trading” activities, as defined in the Volcker Rule, subject to exemptions for underwriting, market-making-related activities, risk-mitigating hedging, and certain other activities. The Volcker Rule will also require banking entities to either restructure or unwind certain investments and relationships with “covered funds,” as defined in the Volcker Rule. Banking entities have until July 21, 2015, to bring all of their activities into conformance with the Volcker Rule, and until July 21, 2016, to bring all of their investments into conformance with the Volcker Rule, in each case, subject to possible extensions. The Volcker Rule requires banking entities to establish comprehensive compliance programs designed to help ensure and monitor compliance with restrictions under the Volcker Rule.

In July 2011, pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) began operations and was given rulemaking authority for a wide range of consumer protection laws that would apply to all banks and provide broad powers to supervise and enforce consumer protection laws.

Banks with total assets of $10 billion or less remain subject to the supervisory oversight of their primary federal banking agencies (for us, the Federal Reserve and the OCC) for purposes of compliance with the federal consumer financial laws. However, the CFPB has rule-writing authority for these laws as they apply to all providers of consumer financial products and services. It also has backup enforcement authorities for entities supervised by the federal banking agencies. Further, the CFPB frequently works with federal banking agencies, and new CFPB standards and “best practices” are likely to be adopted by federal banking regulators and ultimately impact smaller banks regardless of their size or primary regulator.

Capital Requirements

Our company, as a bank and financial holding company, is subject to regulation, including capital requirements, by the Federal Reserve. Stifel Bank is subject to various regulatory capital requirements administered by the Federal Reserve and the Missouri Division of Finance. Failure to meet minimum capital requirements can initiate certain mandatory and possibly additional discretionary actions by regulators that, if undertaken, could have a direct material effect on our company's and Stifel Bank’s financial statements. Under capital adequacy guidelines and the regulatory framework for prompt corrective action, our company and Stifel Bank must meet specific capital guidelines that involve quantitative measures of assets, liabilities, and certain off-balance sheet items as calculated under regulatory accounting practices. Our company's and Stifel Bank’s capital amounts and classification are also subject to qualitative judgments by the regulators about components, risk weightings, and other factors. Quantitative measures established by regulation to ensure capital adequacy require our company and Stifel Bank to maintain minimum amounts and ratios of total and Tier 1 capital (as defined in the regulations) to risk-weighted assets (as defined), and Tier 1 capital (as defined) to average assets (as defined).

Our broker-dealer subsidiaries are subject to the Uniform Net Capital Rule (Rule 15c3-1) promulgated by the SEC. The Uniform Net Capital Rule is designed to measure the general financial integrity and liquidity of a broker-dealer and the minimum net capital deemed necessary to meet the broker-dealer’s continuing commitments to its customers and other broker-dealers. Broker-dealers may be prohibited from expanding their business and declaring cash dividends. A broker-dealer that fails to comply with the Uniform Net Capital Rule may be subject to disciplinary actions by the SEC and SROs, such as FINRA, including censures, fines, suspension, or expulsion. For further discussion of our net capital requirements, see Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Liquidity and Capital Resources.”

Public Company Regulation

As a public company whose common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) and the Chicago Stock Exchange (“CHX”), we are subject to corporate governance requirements established by the SEC, NYSE, and CHX, as well as federal and state law. Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (the “Act”), we are required to meet certain requirements regarding business dealings

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with members of the Board of Directors, the structure of our Audit and Compensation Committees, ethical standards for our senior financial officers, implementation of an internal control structure and procedures for financial reporting, and additional responsibilities regarding financial statements for our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer and their assessment of our internal controls over financial reporting. Compliance with all aspects of the Act, particularly the provisions related to management's assessment of internal controls, has imposed additional costs on our company, reflecting internal staff and management time, as well as additional audit fees since the Act went into effect.

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Executive Officers

Information regarding our executive officers and their ages as of February 20, 2016, is as follows:

 

Name

 

Age

 

 

Position(s)

Ronald J. Kruszewski

 

 

57

 

 

Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer

Thomas W. Weisel

 

 

74

 

 

Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors

James M. Zemlyak

 

 

56

 

 

President, Chief Financial Officer, and Director

Richard J. Himelfarb

 

 

74

 

 

Vice Chairman, Senior Vice President, and Director

Thomas B. Michaud

 

 

51

 

 

Senior Vice President and Director

Thomas P. Mulroy

 

 

54

 

 

President, Co-Director of Institutional Group, and Director

Victor J. Nesi

 

 

55

 

 

President, Co-Director of Institutional Group, and Director

Ben A. Plotkin

 

 

60

 

 

Vice Chairman, Senior Vice President, and Director

David M. Minnick

 

 

59

 

 

Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Mark P. Fisher

 

 

46

 

 

Senior Vice President and General Counsel

James M. Marischen

 

 

36

 

 

Senior Vice President, Chief Risk Officer, and Chief Accounting Officer

David D. Sliney

 

 

46

 

 

Senior Vice President

Ronald J. Kruszewski has been Chief Executive Officer, and Director of our company and Stifel since September 1997 and Chairman of the Board of Directors of our company and Stifel since April 2001. Prior thereto, Mr. Kruszewski served as Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of Baird Financial Corporation and Managing Director of Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, a securities broker-dealer firm, from 1993 to September 1997.

Thomas W. Weisel was elected Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of our company in August 2010 after the completion of the merger between our company and Thomas Weisel Partners Group, Inc. Prior thereto, Mr. Weisel served as Chairman and CEO of Thomas Weisel Partners Group, Inc., a firm he founded, from 1998 to June 2010. Prior to founding Thomas Weisel Partners, Mr. Weisel was a founder, in 1971, of Robertson, Coleman, Siebel & Weisel that became Montgomery Securities in 1978, where he was Chairman and CEO until September 1998. Mr. Weisel served as a director on the NASDAQ Stock Market board of directors from 2002 to 2006.

James M. Zemlyak was named to the Office of the President in June 2014. Mr. Zemlyak has been Chief Financial Officer and Director of our company and Stifel since February 1999. Mr. Zemlyak served as our company’s Treasurer from February 1999 to January 2012. Mr. Zemlyak has been Chief Operating Officer of Stifel since August 2002 and Executive Vice President of Stifel since December 1, 2005. Mr. Zemlyak also served as Chief Financial Officer of Stifel from February 1999 to October 2006. Prior to joining our company, Mr. Zemlyak served as Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of Baird Financial Corporation from 1997 to 1999 and Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated from 1994 to 1999.

Richard J. Himelfarb has served as Senior Vice President and Director of our company and Executive Vice President and Director of Stifel since December 2005. Mr. Himelfarb was designated Chairman of Investment Banking in July 2009. Prior to that, Mr. Himelfarb served as Executive Vice President and Director of Investment Banking from December 2005 through July 2009. Prior to joining our company, Mr. Himelfarb served as a director of Legg Mason, Inc. from November 1983 and Legg Mason Wood Walker, Inc. from January 2005. Mr. Himelfarb was elected Executive Vice President of Legg Mason and Legg Mason Wood Walker, Inc. in July 1995, having previously served as Senior Vice President from November 1983.

Thomas B. Michaud was elected to the Board of Directors of our company in February 2013 after the completion of the merger between our company and KBW, Inc. Mr. Michaud serves as Senior Vice President of our company and Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and President of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc., one of our broker-dealer subsidiaries, since February 15, 2013. Prior thereto, Mr. Michaud served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of KBW, Inc. since October 2011 and as Vice Chairman and director since its formation in August 2005. He previously served as Chief Operating Officer from August 2005 until October 2011.

Thomas P. Mulroy was named to the Office of the President in June 2014. Mr. Mulroy has served as Co-Director of our Institutional Group since July 2009. Mr. Mulroy has served as Director of our company and Executive Vice President and Director of Stifel since December 2005. Prior to that, Mr. Mulroy served as Director of Equity Capital Markets from December 2005 through July 2009. Mr. Mulroy has responsibility for institutional equity sales, trading, and research. Prior to joining our company, Mr. Mulroy was elected Executive Vice President of Legg Mason, Inc. in July 2002 and of Legg Mason Wood Walker, Inc. in November 2000. Mr. Mulroy became a Senior Vice President of Legg Mason, Inc. in July 2000 and Legg Mason Wood Walker, Inc. in August 1998.

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Victor J. Nesi was named to the Office of the President in June 2014. Mr. Nesi has served as Director of Investment Banking and Co-Director of our Institutional Group since July 2009. Mr. Nesi has served as Director of our company since August 2009. Mr. Nesi has responsibility for corporate finance investment banking activities and is Co-Director of our Capital Markets segment. Mr. Nesi has more than 20 years of banking and private equity experience, most recently with Merrill Lynch, where he headed the global private equity business for the telecommunications and media industry. From 2005 to 2007, he directed Merrill Lynch’s investment banking group for the Americas region. Prior to joining Merrill Lynch in 1996, Mr. Nesi spent seven years as an investment banker at Salomon Brothers and Goldman Sachs.

Ben A. Plotkin has been Vice Chairman, Senior Vice President, and Director of our company since August 2007 and Executive Vice President of Stifel since February 2007. Mr. Plotkin also served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ryan Beck & Company, Inc. from 1997 until its acquisition by our company in 2007. Mr. Plotkin was elected Executive Vice President of Ryan Beck in 1990. Mr. Plotkin became a Senior Vice President of Ryan Beck in 1989 and was appointed First Vice President of Ryan Beck in December of 1987. Mr. Plotkin joined Ryan Beck in May of 1987 as a Director and Vice President in the Investment Banking Division.

David M. Minnick has served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of our company and Stifel since October 2004. Prior thereto, Mr. Minnick served as Vice President and Counsel for A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc. from August 2002 through October 2004, Senior Regional Attorney for NASD Regulation, Inc. from November 2000 through July 2002, as an attorney in private law practice from September 1998 through November 2000, and as General Counsel and Managing Director of Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc. from October 1990 through August 1998.

Mark P. Fisher has served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel since May 2014.  From July 2010 until May 2014, Mr. Fisher was Senior Vice President of our company. Mr. Fisher served as General Counsel of Thomas Weisel Partners Group, Inc. from May 2005 until the merger between our company and Thomas Weisel Partners Group, Inc. in July 2010. From January 1998 until May 2005, Mr. Fisher practiced corporate and securities law at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.

James M. Marischen has served as Senior Vice President Chief Risk Officer of our company since January 2014. During 2015, Mr. Marischen was named our Chief Accounting Officer. Mr. Marischen served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Stifel Bank & Trust from February 2008 to January 2014. Prior to joining our company in 2008, Mr. Marischen worked in public accounting at KPMG LLP.

David D. Sliney has been a Senior Vice President of our company since May 2003. In 1997, Mr. Sliney began a Strategic Planning and Finance role with Stifel and has served as a Director of Stifel since May 2003. Mr. Sliney is also responsible for our company’s Operations and Technology departments. Mr. Sliney joined Stifel in 1992, and between 1992 and 1995, Mr. Sliney worked as a fixed income trader and later assumed responsibility for the firm’s Equity Syndicate Department.

AVAILABLE INFORMATION

Our internet address is www.stifel.com. We make available, free of charge, through a link to the SEC web site, annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to reports filed or furnished pursuant to Sections 13(a) and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, as well as proxy statements, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC.

Additionally, we make available on our web site under “Investor Relations – Corporate Governance,” and in print upon request of any shareholder to our Chief Financial Officer, a number of our corporate governance documents. These include: Executive Committee charter, Audit Committee charter, Compensation Committee charter, Risk Management/Corporate Governance Committee charter, Corporate Governance Guidelines, Complaint Reporting Process, and the Code of Ethics for Employees. Within the time period required by the SEC and the NYSE, we will post on our web site any modifications to any of the available documents. The information on our web site is not incorporated by reference into this report. Our Chief Financial Officer can be contacted at Stifel Financial Corp., One Financial Plaza, 501 North Broadway, St. Louis, Missouri 63102, telephone: (314) 342-2000.

 

 

ITEM 1A.  RISK FACTORS

In addition to the other information set forth in this report, you should carefully consider the following factors which could materially affect our business, financial condition, or future results of operations. Although the risks described below are those that management believes are the most significant, these are not the only risks facing our company. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently do not deem to be material also may materially affect our business, financial condition, or future results of operations. We may amend or supplement these risk factors from time to time in other reports we file with the SEC.

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RISKS RELATED TO OUR BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY

Damage to our reputation could damage our businesses.

Maintaining our reputation is critical to our attracting and maintaining customers, investors, and employees. If we fail to deal with, or appear to fail to deal with, various issues that may give rise to reputational risk, we could significantly harm our business prospects. These issues include, but are not limited to, any of the risks discussed in this Item 1A, appropriately dealing with potential conflicts of interest, legal and regulatory requirements, ethical issues, money laundering, privacy, record keeping, sales and trading practices, failure to sell securities we have underwritten at the anticipated price levels, and the proper identification of the legal, reputational, credit, liquidity, and market risks inherent in our products. A failure to deliver appropriate standards of service and quality, or a failure or perceived failure to treat customers and clients fairly, can result in customer dissatisfaction, litigation, and heightened regulatory scrutiny, all of which can lead to lost revenue, higher operating costs, and harm to our reputation. Further, negative publicity regarding us, whether or not true, may also result in harm to our prospects.

We are affected by domestic and international macroeconomic conditions that impact the global financial markets.

We are engaged in various financial services businesses. As such, we are generally affected by domestic and international macroeconomic and political conditions, including levels of economic output, interest and inflation rates, employment levels, consumer confidence levels, and fiscal and monetary policy. These conditions may directly and indirectly impact a number of factors in the global financial markets that may be detrimental to our operating results, including the levels of trading, investing, and origination activity in the securities markets, security valuations, the absolute and relative level and volatility of interest and currency rates, real estate values, the actual and perceived quality of issuers and borrowers, and the supply of and demand for loans and deposits.

At times over the last several years, we have experienced operating cycles during weak and uncertain U.S. and global economic conditions, including low levels of economic output, artificially maintained levels of historically low interest rates, relatively high rates of unemployment, and significant uncertainty with regards to fiscal and monetary policy both domestically and abroad. These conditions led to several factors in the global financial markets that from time to time negatively impacted our net revenue and profitability. While select factors indicate signs of improvement, uncertainty remains. A period of sustained downturns and/or volatility in the securities markets, prolonged continuation of the artificially low level of short-term interest rates, a return to increased dislocations in the credit markets, reductions in the value of real estate, and other negative market factors could significantly impair our revenues and profitability. We could experience a decline in commission revenue from a lower volume of trades we execute for our clients, a decline in fees from reduced portfolio values of securities managed on behalf of our clients, a reduction in revenue from the number and size of transactions in which we provide underwriting, financial advisory, and other services, increased credit provisions and charge-offs, losses sustained from our customers’ and market participants’ failure to fulfill their settlement obligations, reduced net interest earnings, and other losses. These periods of reduced revenue and other losses could be accompanied by periods of reduced profitability, because certain of our expenses, including but not limited to our interest expense on debt, rent, facilities, and salary expenses, are fixed, and our ability to reduce them over short periods of time is limited.

Future downgrades of the U.S. sovereign credit rating by one or more of the major credit rating agencies could have material adverse impacts on financial markets and economic conditions in the United States and throughout the world and, in turn, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and liquidity.

Concerns about the European Union’s (“EU”) sovereign debt in recent years has caused uncertainty and disruption for financial markets globally. Continued uncertainties loom over the outcome the EU’s financial support programs, and the possibility exists that other EU member states may experience similar financial troubles in the future. Any negative impact on economic conditions and global markets from further EU sovereign debt matters could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and liquidity.

Our businesses and earnings are affected by the fiscal and other policies adopted by various regulatory authorities of the United States, non-U.S. governments, and international agencies. The Fed regulates the supply of money and credit in the United States. Fed policies determine, in large part, the cost of funds for lending and investing and the return earned on those loans and investments. The market impact from such policies can also materially decrease the value of certain of our financial assets, most notably debt securities. Changes in Fed policies are beyond our control, and consequently, the impact of these changes on our activities and results of our operations are difficult to predict.

U.S. state and local governments also continue to struggle with budget pressures caused by the ongoing less than optimal economic environment and ongoing concerns regarding municipal issuer credit quality. If these trends continue or worsen, investor concerns could potentially reduce the number and size of transactions in which we participate and, in turn, reduce investment banking revenues. In addition, such factors could adversely affect the value of the municipal securities we hold in our trading securities portfolio.

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Lack of liquidity or access to capital could impair our business and financial condition.

Maintaining an appropriate level of liquidity, or the amount of capital that is readily available for investment, spending, or to meet our contractual obligations is essential to our business. Our inability to maintain adequate levels of capital in the form of cash and readily available access to the credit and capital markets could have a significant negative effect on our financial condition. If liquidity from our brokerage or banking operations is inadequate or unavailable, we may be required to scale back or curtail our operations, including limiting our efforts to recruit additional financial advisors or selling assets at prices that may be less favorable to us. Some potential conditions that could negatively affect our liquidity include the inability of our subsidiaries to generate cash in the form of dividends from earnings, changes imposed by regulators to our liquidity or capital requirements in our subsidiaries that may prevent the upstream of dividends in the form of cash to the parent company, limited or no accessibility to credit markets for secured and unsecured borrowings within our primary broker-dealer subsidiary, accessibility to credit markets for secured borrowing and diminished access to the capital markets for our company, and other commitments or restrictions on capital as a result of adverse legal settlements, judgments, or regulatory sanctions.

The availability of outside financing, including access to the credit and capital markets, depends on a variety of factors, such as conditions in the debt and equity markets, the general availability of credit, the volume of securities trading activity, the overall availability of credit to the financial services sector, and our credit rating. Our cost and availability of funding may be adversely affected by illiquid credit markets and wider credit spreads. Additionally, lenders may from time to time curtail, or even cease to provide, funding to borrowers as a result of any future concerns about the stability of the markets generally and the strength of counterparties specifically.

If our credit rating was downgraded, or if rating agencies indicate that a downgrade may occur, our business, financial position, and results of operations could be adversely affected, perceptions of our financial strength could be damaged, and as a result, adversely affect our relationships with clients. Such a reduction in our credit rating could also adversely affect our liquidity and competitive position, increase our incremental borrowing costs, limit our access to the capital markets, trigger obligations under certain financial agreements, or decrease the number of investors, clients, and counterparties willing or permitted to do business with or lend to us, thereby curtailing our business operations and reducing profitability. As such, we may not be able to successfully obtain additional outside financing to fund our operations on favorable terms, or at all. The impact of a credit rating downgrade to a level below investment grade would result in our breaching provisions in our credit agreements, and may result in a request for immediate payment.

Furthermore, as a bank holding company, we may become subject to a prohibition or to limitations on our ability to repurchase our stock. The Federal Reserve and the SEC (via FINRA) have the authority, and under certain circumstances the duty, to prohibit or to limit the payment of dividends by the subsidiaries to us for the subsidiaries they supervise.

See Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Liquidity and Capital Resources,” in this Form 10-K for additional information on liquidity and how we manage our liquidity risk.

Our ability to attract and retain qualified financial advisors and other associates is critical to the continued success of our business.

Our ability to develop and retain our client base depends on the reputation, judgment, business generation capabilities, and skills of our employees and financial advisors. As such, to compete effectively, we must attract, retain, and motivate qualified associates, including successful financial advisors, investment bankers, trading professionals, portfolio managers, and other revenue-producing or specialized personnel. Competitive pressures we experience could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.

We compete directly with national full-domestic commercial banks and investment banking boutique firms that  have entered the broker-dealer business, and large international banks are now serving our markets as well. Legislative and regulatory initiatives which eased what were at one time restrictions on the sales of securities and underwriting activities by commercial banks have increased competition. This increased competition could cause our business to suffer.

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The cost of retaining skilled professionals in the financial services industry has escalated considerably. Employers in the industry are increasingly offering guaranteed contracts, upfront payments, and increased compensation. These can be important factors in a current employee’s decision to leave us as well as a prospective employee’s decision to join us. As competition for skilled professionals in the industry remains intense, we may have to devote significant resources to attracting and retaining qualified personnel. In particular, our financial results may be adversely affected by the costs we incur in connection with any upfront loans or other incentives we may offer to newly recruited financial advisors and other key personnel.

Moreover, companies in our industry whose employees accept positions with competitors frequently claim that those competitors have engaged in unfair hiring practices. We have been subject to several such claims in the past and may be subject to additional claims in the future as we seek to hire qualified personnel, some of whom may currently be working for our competitors. Some of these claims may result in material litigation. We could incur substantial costs in defending ourselves against these claims, regardless of their merits. Such claims could also discourage potential employees who currently work for our competitors from joining us.

We are exposed to market risk.

We are, directly and indirectly, affected by changes in market conditions. Market risk generally represents the risk that values of assets and liabilities or revenues will be adversely affected by changes in market conditions. For example, changes in interest rates could adversely affect our net interest spread, the difference between the yield we earn on our assets and the interest rate we pay for deposits and other sources of funding, which, in turn, impacts our net interest income and earnings. Changes in interest rates could affect the interest earned on assets differently than interest paid on liabilities. In our brokerage operations, a rising interest rate environment generally results in our earning a larger net interest spread. Conversely, in those operations, a falling interest rate environment generally results in our earning a smaller net interest spread. If we are unable to effectively manage our interest rate risk, changes in interest rates could have a material adverse effect on our profitability.

Market risk is inherent in the financial instruments associated with our operations and activities, including trading account assets and liabilities, loans, deposits, securities, short-term borrowings, corporate debt, and derivatives. Market conditions that change from time to time, thereby exposing us to market risk, include fluctuations in interest rates, equity prices, relative exchange rates, and price deterioration or changes in value due to changes in market perception or actual credit quality of an issuer.

In addition, disruptions in the liquidity or transparency of the financial markets may result in our inability to sell, syndicate, or realize the value of security positions, thereby leading to increased concentrations. The inability to reduce our positions in specific securities may not only increase the market and credit risks associated with such positions, but also increase the level of risk-weighted assets on our balance sheet, thereby increasing capital requirements, which could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.

See Item 7A, “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk,” in this Form 10-K for additional information regarding our exposure to and approaches to managing market risk.

We are exposed to credit risk.

We are generally exposed to the risk that third parties that owe us money, securities, or other assets do not meet their performance obligations due to bankruptcy, lack of liquidity, operational failure, or other reasons.

We actively buy and sell securities from and to clients and counterparties in the normal course of our broker-dealer businesses, exposing us to credit risk. Although generally collateralized by the underlying security to the transaction, we still face the risk associated with changes in the market value of collateral through settlement date. We also hold certain securities and derivatives in our trading accounts. Deterioration in the actual or perceived credit quality of the underlying issuers of securities, or the non-performance of issuers and counterparties to certain derivative contracts, could result in trading losses.

We borrow securities from, and lend securities to, other broker-dealers, and may also enter into agreements to repurchase and agreements to resell securities as part of investing and financing activities. A sharp change in the security market values utilized in these transactions may result in losses if counterparties to these transactions fail to honor their commitments.

We manage the risk associated with these transactions by establishing and monitoring credit limits and by monitoring collateral and transaction levels daily. A significant deterioration in the credit quality of one of our counterparties could lead to concerns in the market about the credit quality of other counterparties in the same industry, thereby exacerbating our credit risk exposure. We may require counterparties to deposit additional collateral or substitute collateral pledged. In the case of aged securities failed to receive, we may, under industry regulations, purchase the underlying securities in the market and seek reimbursement for any losses from the counterparty.

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Also, we permit our clients to purchase securities on margin. During periods of steep declines in securities prices, the value of the collateral securing client margin loans may fall below the amount of the purchaser’s indebtedness. If the clients are unable to provide additional collateral for these margin loans, we may incur losses on those margin transactions. This may cause us to incur additional expenses defending or pursuing claims or litigation related to counterparty or client defaults.

We deposit our cash in depository institutions as a means of maintaining the liquidity necessary to meet our operating needs, and we also facilitate the deposit of cash awaiting investment in depository institutions on behalf of our clients. A failure of a depository institution to return these deposits could severely impact our operating liquidity, could result in significant reputational damage, and adversely impact our financial performance.

We also incur credit risk by lending to businesses and individuals, including but not limited to, commercial and industrial loans, commercial and residential mortgage loans, home equity lines of credit, and margin and non-purpose loans collateralized by securities. We incur credit risk through our investments, which include mortgage-backed securities, collateralized mortgage obligations, auction rate securities, and other municipal securities.

The credit quality of Stifel Bank’s loans and investment portfolios can have a significant impact on earnings and overall financial performance. Our credit risk and credit losses can increase if our loans or investments are concentrated among borrowers or issuers engaged in the same or similar activities, industries, geographies, or to borrowers or issuers who, as a group, may be uniquely or disproportionately affected by economic or market conditions. The deterioration of an individually large exposure, for example due to a natural disaster, act of terrorism, severe weather event, or economic event, could lead to additional loan loss provisions and/or charge-offs, or credit impairment of our investments, and subsequently have a material impact on our net income and regulatory capital.

Declines in the real estate market or sustained economic downturns may cause us to write down the value of some of the loans in Stifel Bank’s portfolio, foreclose on certain real estate properties, or write down the value of some of our available-for-sale securities portfolio. Credit quality generally may also be affected by adverse changes in the financial performance or condition of our debtors or deterioration in the strength of the U.S. economy.

See Item 7A, “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk,” in this Form 10-K for additional information regarding our exposure to and approaches to managing credit risk.

Our business depends on fees earned from the management of client accounts by our primary broker-dealer and asset management subsidiaries.

We have grown our asset management business in recent years, including with the acquisitions of ZCM in 2013 and 1919 Investment Counsel in 2014, which has increased the risks associated with this business relative to our overall operations. Asset management fees are primarily comprised of base management fees. Management fees are primarily based on assets under management. Assets under management balances are impacted by net inflow/outflow of client assets and changes in market values. Below-market investment performance by our funds and portfolio managers could result in a loss of managed accounts and could result in reputational damage that might make it more difficult to attract new investors and thus further impact our business and financial condition. If we were to experience the loss of managed accounts, our fee revenue would decline. In addition, in periods of declining market values, our asset values under management may resultantly decline, which would negatively impact our fee revenues.

Our underwriting, market-making, trading, and other business activities place our capital at risk.

We may incur losses and be subject to reputational harm to the extent that, for any reason, we are unable to sell securities that we have underwritten at the anticipated price levels. As an underwriter, we also are subject to heightened standards regarding liability for material misstatements or omissions in prospectuses and other offering documents relating to offerings we underwrite. As a market-maker, we may own positions in specific securities, and these undiversified holdings concentrate the risk of market fluctuations and may result in greater losses than would be the case if our holdings were more diversified. While it is not typical, from time to time and as part of our underwriting processes, we may carry significant positions in securities of a single issuer or issuers engaged in a specific industry. Sudden changes in the value of these positions could impact our financial results.

We have made and may continue to make principal investments in private equity funds and other illiquid investments, which are typically private limited partnership interests and securities that are not publicly traded. There is risk that we may be unable to realize our investment objectives by sale or other disposition at attractive prices or that we may otherwise be unable to complete a desirable exit strategy. In particular, these risks could arise from changes in the financial condition or prospects of the portfolio companies in which investments are made, changes in economic conditions, or changes in laws, regulations, fiscal policies, or political conditions. It could take a substantial period of time to identify attractive investment opportunities and then to realize the cash value of such

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investments through resale. Even if a private equity investment proves to be profitable, it may be several years or longer before any profits can be realized in cash.

The soundness of other financial institutions and intermediaries affects us.

We face the risk of operational failure, termination, or capacity constraints of any of the clearing agents, exchanges, clearing houses, or other financial intermediaries that we use to facilitate our securities transactions. As a result of the consolidation over the years among clearing agents, exchanges, and clearing houses, our exposure to certain financial intermediaries has increased and could affect our ability to find adequate and cost-effective alternatives should the need arise. Any failure, termination, or constraint of these intermediaries could adversely affect our ability to execute transactions, serve our clients, and manage our exposure to risk.

Our ability to engage in routine trading and funding transactions could be adversely affected by the actions and commercial soundness of other financial institutions. Financial services institutions are interrelated as a result of trading, clearing, funding, counterparty, or other relationships. We have exposure to many different industries and counterparties, and we routinely execute transactions with counterparties in the financial industry, including brokers and dealers, commercial banks, investment banks, mutual and hedge funds, and other institutional clients. Furthermore, although we do not hold any EU sovereign debt, we may do business with and be exposed to financial institutions that have been affected by the EU sovereign debt circumstances. As a result, defaults by, or even rumors or questions about the financial condition of, one or more financial services institutions, or the financial services industry generally, have historically led to market-wide liquidity problems and could lead to losses or defaults by us or by other institutions. Many of these transactions expose us to credit risk in the event of default of our counterparty or client. In addition, our credit risk may be exacerbated when the collateral held by us cannot be realized or is liquidated at prices not sufficient to recover the full amount of the loan or derivative exposure due us. Although we have not suffered any material or significant losses as a result of the failure of any financial counterparty, any such losses in the future may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

We have experienced increased pricing pressures in areas of our business, which may impair our future revenue and profitability.

Our business continues to experience increased pricing pressures on trading margins and commissions in fixed income and equity trading. In the fixed income market, regulatory requirements have resulted in greater price transparency, leading to increased price competition and decreased trading margins. In the equity market, we have experienced increased pricing pressure from institutional clients to reduce commissions, and this pressure has been augmented by the increased use of electronic and direct market access trading, which has created additional competitive downward pressure on trading margins. We believe that price competition and pricing pressures in these and other areas will continue as institutional investors continue to reduce the amounts they are willing to pay, including by reducing the number of brokerage firms they use, and some of our competitors seek to obtain market share by reducing fees, commissions, or margins.

Growth of our business could increase costs and regulatory risks.

Integrating acquired businesses, providing a platform for new businesses, and partnering with other firms involve a number of risks and present financial, managerial, and operational challenges. We may incur significant expenses in connection with further expansion of our existing businesses, or recruitment of financial advisors, or in connection with strategic acquisitions or investments, if and to the extent they arise from time to time. Our overall profitability would be negatively affected if investments and expenses associated with such growth are not matched or exceeded by the revenues that are derived from such investment or growth.

Expansion may also create a need for additional compliance, documentation, risk management, and internal control procedures, and often involves the hiring of additional personnel to monitor such procedures. To the extent such procedures are not adequate to appropriately monitor any new or expanded business, we could be exposed to a material loss or regulatory sanction.

Moreover, to the extent we pursue strategic acquisitions, we may be unable to complete such acquisitions on acceptable terms, or be unable to successfully integrate the operations of any acquired business into our existing business. Such acquisitions could be of significant size and/or complexity. This effort, together with difficulties we may encounter in integrating an acquired business, could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations. In addition, we may need to raise equity capital or borrow to finance such acquisitions, which could dilute our shareholders or increase our leverage. Any such borrowings might not be available on terms as favorable to us as our current borrowings, or perhaps at all.

The rapid growth of Stifel Bank may expose us to increased credit risk, operational risk, regulatory risk, and sensitivity to market interest rates along with increased regulation, examinations, and supervision by regulators.

We have experienced rapid growth in the investment portfolio, which includes available-for-sale and held-to-maturity securities, and the loan portfolio of Stifel Bank, which is funded by customer deposits. Although our stock-secured loans are collateralized by assets held in brokerage accounts, we are exposed to some credit and operational risk associated with these loans. We describe some of the

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integration-related operational risks associated with our recent acquisitions above, which includes many of the same risks related to the growth of Stifel Bank. With the increase in deposits and resulting liquidity, we have been able to expand our investment portfolio, primarily with government agency securities. In addition, Stifel Bank has significantly grown its commercial lending business. Although we believe we have conservative underwriting policies in place, there are inherent risks associated with the mortgage banking business. For further discussion of our segments, including our Stifel Bank reporting unit, see Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Segment Analysis.”

As a result of the high percentage of our assets and liabilities that are in the form of interest-bearing or interest-related instruments, we are more sensitive to changes in interest rates, in the shape of the yield curve, or in relative spreads between market interest rates.

The monetary, tax, and other policies of the government and its agencies, including the Federal Reserve, have a significant impact on interest rates and overall financial market performance. An important function of the Federal Reserve is to regulate the national supply of bank credit and market interest rates. The actions of the Federal Reserve influence the rates of interest that we charge on loans and that we pay on borrowings and interest-bearing deposits, which may also affect the value of our on-balance sheet and off-balance sheet financial instruments. We cannot predict the nature or timing of future changes in monetary, tax, and other policies or the effect that they may have on our activities and results of operations.

In addition, Stifel Bank is heavily regulated at the state and federal level. This regulation is to protect depositors, federal deposit insurance funds, consumers, and the banking system as a whole, but not our shareholders. Federal and state regulations can significantly restrict our businesses, and we are subject to various regulatory actions, which could include fines, penalties, or other sanctions for violations of laws and regulatory rules if we are ultimately found to be out of compliance.

We face intense competition.

We are engaged in intensely competitive businesses. We compete on the basis of a number of factors, including the quality of our financial advisors and associates, our products and services, pricing (such as execution pricing and fee levels), location, and reputation in relevant markets. Over time, there has been substantial consolidation and convergence among companies in the financial services industry, which has significantly increased the capital base and geographic reach of our competitors. See the section entitled “Competition” of Item 1 of this Form 10-K for additional information about our competitors.

We compete directly with national full-service broker-dealers, investment banking firms, and commercial banks, and to a lesser extent, with discount brokers and dealers and investment advisors. In addition, we face competition from more recent entrants into the market and increased use of alternative sales channels by other firms. We also compete indirectly for investment assets with insurance companies, real estate firms, hedge funds, and others. This competition could cause our business to suffer.

To remain competitive, our future success also depends, in part, on our ability to develop and enhance our products and services. In addition, the continued development of internet, networking, or telecommunication technologies or other technological changes could require us to incur substantial expenditures to enhance or adapt our services or infrastructure. An inability to develop new products and services, or enhance existing offerings, could have a material adverse effect on our profitability.

We are exposed to operational risk.

Our diverse operations expose us to risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed internal processes, people, and systems external events, including technological or connectivity failures either at the exchanges in which we do business or between our data centers, operations processing sites, or our branches. Our businesses depend on our ability to process and monitor, on a daily basis, a large number of complex transactions across numerous and diverse markets. The inability of our systems to accommodate an increasing volume of transactions could also constrain our ability to expand our businesses. Our financial, accounting, data processing, or other operating systems and facilities may fail to operate properly or become disabled as a result of events that are wholly or partially beyond our control, adversely affecting our ability to process these transactions or provide these services. Operational risk exists in every activity, function, or unit of our business, and can take the form of internal or external fraud, employment and hiring practices, an error in meeting a professional obligation, or failure to meet corporate fiduciary standards. It is not always possible to deter employee misconduct, and the precautions we take to detect and prevent this activity may not be effective in all cases. If our employees engage in misconduct, our businesses would be adversely affected. Operational risk also exists in the event of business disruption, system failures, or failed transaction processing. Third parties with which we do business could also be a source of operational risk, including with respect to breakdowns or failures of the systems or misconduct by the employees of such parties. In addition, as we change processes or introduce new products and services, we may not fully appreciate or identify new operational risks that may arise from such changes. Increasing use of automated technology has the potential to amplify risks from manual or system processing errors, including outsourced operations.

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Our business contingency plan in place is intended to ensure we have the ability to recover our critical business functions and supporting assets, including staff and technology, in the event of a business interruption. Despite the diligence we have applied to the development and testing of our plans, due to unforeseen factors, our ability to conduct business may, in any case, be adversely affected by a disruption involving physical site access, catastrophic events, including weather-related events, events involving electrical, environmental, or communications malfunctions, as well as events impacting services provided by others that we rely upon which could impact our employees or third parties with whom we conduct business.

See Item 7A, “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk,” in this Form 10-K for additional information regarding our exposure to and approaches to managing operational risk.

Our businesses depend on technology.

Our businesses rely extensively on electronic data processing and communications systems. In addition to better serving clients, the effective use of technology increases efficiency and enables us to reduce costs. Adapting or developing our technology systems to meet new regulatory requirements, client needs, and competitive demands is critical for our business. Introduction of new technology presents challenges on a regular basis. There are significant technical and financial costs and risks in the development of new or enhanced applications, including the risk that we might be unable to effectively use new technologies or adapt our applications to emerging industry standards.

Our continued success depends, in part, upon our ability to successfully maintain and upgrade the capability of our systems, our ability to address the needs of our clients by using technology to provide products and services that satisfy their demands, and our ability to retain skilled information technology employees. Failure of our systems, which could result from events beyond our control, or an inability to effectively upgrade those systems or implement new technology-driven products or services, could result in financial losses, liability to clients, violations of applicable privacy and other laws, and regulatory sanctions.

Customer, public, and regulatory expectations regarding operational and information security have increased. Thus, our operational systems and infrastructure must continue to be safeguarded and monitored for potential failures, disruptions, and breakdowns. Our operations rely on the secure processing, storage, and transmission of confidential and other information in our computer systems and networks. Although cyber security incidents among financial services firms are on the rise, to date, we have not experienced any material losses relating to cyber-attacks or other information security breaches; however, there can be no assurance that we will not suffer such losses in the future. Notwithstanding that we take protective measures and endeavor to modify them as circumstances warrant, our computer systems, software, and networks may be vulnerable to human error, natural disasters, power loss, spam attacks, unauthorized access, distributed denial of service attacks, computer viruses, and other malicious code and other events that could have a security impact. If one or more of these events occur, this could jeopardize our, or our clients’ or counterparties’, confidential and other information processed, stored in, and transmitted through our computer systems and networks, or otherwise cause interruptions or malfunctions in our, our clients’, our counterparties’, or third parties’ operations. We may be required to expend significant additional resources to modify our protective measures, to investigate and remediate vulnerabilities or other exposures, or to make required notifications, and we may be subject to litigation and financial losses that are either not insured or are not fully covered through any insurance we maintain. A technological breakdown could also interfere with our ability to comply with financial reporting and other regulatory requirements, exposing us to potential disciplinary action by regulators.

Extraordinary trading volumes beyond reasonably foreseeable spikes in volumes could cause our computer systems to operate at an unacceptably slow speed or even fail. While we have made investments to maintain the reliability and scalability of our systems and maintain hardware to address extraordinary volumes, there can be no assurance that our systems will be sufficient to handle truly extraordinary and unforeseen circumstances. Systems failures and delays could occur and could cause, among other things, unanticipated disruptions in service to our clients or slower system response time, resulting in transactions not being processed as quickly as our clients desire, resulting in client dissatisfaction.

See Item 7A, “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk,” in this Form 10-K for additional information regarding our exposure to and approaches to managing these types of operational risk.

We are exposed to risks of legal proceedings, which may result in significant losses to us that we cannot recover. Claimants in these proceedings may be customers, employees, or regulatory agencies, among others, seeking damages for mistakes, errors, negligence, or acts of fraud by our employees.

Many aspects of our business involve substantial risks of liability, arising in the normal course of business. Participants in the financial services industry face an increasing amount of litigation and arbitration proceedings. Dissatisfied clients regularly make claims against broker-dealers and their employees for, among others, negligence, fraud, unauthorized trading, suitability, churning, failure to supervise, breach of fiduciary duty, employee errors, intentional misconduct, unauthorized transactions by financial advisors or traders, improper recruiting activity, and failures in the processing of securities transactions. The risks associated with potential

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litigation often may be difficult to assess or quantify, and the existence and magnitude of potential claims often remain unknown for substantial periods of time.

These types of claims expose us to the risk of significant loss. Acts of fraud are difficult to detect and deter, and while we believe our supervisory procedures are reasonably designed to detect and prevent violations of applicable laws, rules, and regulations, we cannot assure investors that our risk management procedures and controls will prevent losses from fraudulent activity. In our role as underwriter and selling agent, we may be liable if there are material misstatements or omissions of material information in prospectuses and other communications regarding underwritten offerings of securities. At any point in time, the aggregate amount of existing claims against us could be material. While we do not expect the outcome of any existing claims against us to have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, or results of operations, we cannot assure you that these types of proceedings will not materially and adversely affect our company. We do not carry insurance that would cover payments regarding these liabilities, except for insurance against certain fraudulent acts of our employees. In addition, our bylaws provide for the indemnification of our officers, directors, and employees to the maximum extent permitted under Delaware law. In the future, we may be the subject of indemnification assertions under these documents by our officers, directors, or employees who have or may become defendants in litigation. These claims for indemnification may subject us to substantial risks of potential liability.

In highly volatile markets, the volume of claims and amount of damages sought in litigation and regulatory proceedings against financial institutions has historically increased. These risks include potential liability under securities or other laws for alleged materially false or misleading statements made in connection with securities offerings and other transactions, issues related to the suitability of our investment advice based on our clients' investment objectives (including auction rate securities), the inability to sell or redeem securities in a timely manner during adverse market conditions, contractual issues, employment claims, and potential liability for other advice we provide to participants in strategic transactions. Substantial legal liability could have a material adverse financial effect or cause us significant reputational harm, which, in turn, could seriously harm our business and our prospects.

In addition to the foregoing financial costs and risks associated with potential liability, the costs of defending individual litigation and claims continue to increase over time. The amount of outside attorneys’ fees incurred in connection with the defense of litigation and claims could be substantial and might materially and adversely affect our results of operations.

See Item 3, “Legal Proceedings,” in this Form 10-K for a discussion of our legal matters and Item 7A, “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk,” in this Form 10-K for a discussion regarding our approach to managing legal risk.

The preparation of the consolidated financial statements requires the use of estimates that may vary from actual results, and new accounting standards could adversely affect future reported results.

The preparation of the consolidated financial statements in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements, and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Such estimates and assumptions may require management to make difficult, subjective, and complex judgments about matters that are inherently uncertain.

Our financial instruments, including certain trading assets and liabilities, available-for-sale securities, investments, including certain loans, intangible assets, and private equity investments, among other items, require management to make a determination of their fair value in order to prepare our consolidated financial statements. Where quoted market prices are not available, we may make fair value determinations based on internally developed models or other means, which ultimately rely to some degree on our judgment. Some of these instruments and other assets and liabilities may have no direct observable inputs, making their valuation particularly subjective, being based on significant estimation and judgment. In addition, sudden illiquidity in markets or declines in prices of certain securities may make it more difficult to value certain items, which may lead to the possibility that such valuations will be subject to further change or adjustment and could lead to declines in our earnings in subsequent periods.

Our accounting policies and methods are fundamental to how we record and report our financial condition and results of operations. From time to time, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) and the SEC change the financial accounting and reporting standards that govern the preparation of our financial statements. In addition, accounting standard setters and those who interpret the accounting standards may change or even reverse their previous interpretations or positions on how these standards should be applied. These changes can be hard to predict and can materially impact how we record and report our financial condition and results of operations. In some cases, we could be required to apply a new or revised standard retroactively, resulting in our restating prior period financial statements. For a further discussion of some of our significant accounting policies and standards, see the “Critical Accounting Estimates” discussion within Item 7, and Note 2 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, in this Form 10-K.

Our risk management  policies and procedures may leave us exposed to unidentified or unanticipated risk.

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We seek to manage, monitor, and control our market, credit, capital, liquidity, operational, legal, and regulatory risk through operational and compliance reporting systems, internal controls, management review processes, and other mechanisms; however, there can be no assurance that our procedures will be fully effective. Further, our risk management methods may not effectively predict future risk exposures, which could be significantly greater than the historical measures indicate. In addition, some of our risk management methods are based on an evaluation of information regarding markets, clients, and other matters that are based on assumptions that may no longer be accurate. A failure to adequately manage our growth, or to effectively manage our risk, could materially and adversely affect our business and financial condition. Our risk management processes include addressing potential conflicts of interest that arise in our business. We have procedures and controls in place to address conflicts of interest. Management of potential conflicts of interest has become increasingly complex as we expand our business activities through more numerous transactions, obligations, and interests with and among our clients. The failure to adequately address, or the perceived failure to adequately address, conflicts of interest could affect our reputation, the willingness of clients to transact business with us, or give rise to litigation or regulatory actions. Therefore, there can be no assurance that conflicts of interest will not arise in the future that could cause material harm to us.

For more information on how we monitor and manage market and certain other risks, see Item 7A, “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk,” in this Form 10-K.

We are exposed to risk from international markets.

We do business in other parts of the world and, as a result, are exposed to a number of risks, including economic, market, litigation, and regulatory risks, in non-U.S. markets. Our businesses and revenues derived from non-U.S. operations are subject to risk of loss from currency fluctuations, social or political instability, changes in governmental policies or policies of central banks, downgrades in the credit ratings of sovereign countries, expropriation, nationalization, confiscation of assets, and unfavorable legislative and political developments. Action or inaction in any of these operations, including failure to follow proper practices with respect to regulatory compliance and/or corporate governance, could harm our operations and/or our reputation. We also invest or trade in the securities of corporations located in non-U.S. jurisdictions. Revenues from the trading of non-U.S. securities also may be subject to negative fluctuations as a result of the above factors. The impact of these fluctuations could be magnified, because generally non-U.S. trading markets are smaller, less liquid, and more volatile than U.S. trading markets. Additionally, a political, economic, or financial disruption in a country or region could adversely impact our business and increase volatility in financial markets generally.

RISKS RELATED TO OUR REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT

Changes in regulations resulting from either the Dodd-Frank Act or any new regulations may affect our businesses.

The market and economic conditions over the past several years have led to legislation and numerous and continuing proposals for changes in the regulation of the financial services industry, including significant additional legislation and regulation in the U.S. and abroad. The Dodd-Frank Act enacted sweeping changes in the supervision and regulation of the financial industry designed to provide for greater oversight of financial industry participants, reduce risk in banking practices and in securities and derivatives trading, enhance public company corporate governance practices and executive compensation disclosures, and provide for greater protections to individual consumers and investors. Certain elements of the Dodd-Frank Act became effective immediately, while the details of some provisions remain subject to implementing regulations that are yet to be adopted by various applicable regulatory agencies. The ultimate impact that the Dodd-Frank Act will have on us, the financial industry, and the economy cannot be known until all such implementing regulations called for under the Dodd-Frank Act have been finalized and implemented.

The Dodd-Frank Act may impact the manner in which we market our products and services, manage our business and operations and interact with regulators, all of which, while not currently anticipated to, could materially impact our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity. Certain provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act that have or may impact our business include, but are not limited to: the establishment of a fiduciary standard for broker-dealers, regulatory oversight of incentive compensation, the imposition of capital requirements on financial holding companies, and to a lesser extent, greater oversight over derivatives trading and restrictions on proprietary trading. There is also increased regulatory scrutiny (and related compliance costs) as we continue to grow and surpass certain thresholds outlined in the Dodd-Frank Act. These include but are not limited to Stifel Bank’s oversight by the CFPB.

In addition, the Volcker Rule provision of the Dodd-Frank Act will have an impact on us, including potentially limiting various aspects of our business. We are continuing our review of activities that may be affected by the Volcker Rule, including our trading operations and asset management activities, and are taking steps to establish the necessary compliance programs to comply with the Volcker Rule. Given the complexity of the new framework, the full impact of the Volcker Rule is still uncertain, and will ultimately depend on the interpretation and implementation by the five regulatory agencies responsible for its oversight.

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To the extent the Dodd-Frank Act impacts the operations, financial condition, liquidity, and capital requirements of unaffiliated financial institutions with whom we transact business, those institutions may seek to pass on increased costs, reduce their capacity to transact, or otherwise present inefficiencies in their interactions with us.

The SEC adopted amendments, most of which were effective March 2014, to its financial responsibility rules, including changes to the net capital rule, the customer protection rule, the record-keeping rules, and the notification rules applicable to our broker-dealer subsidiaries. These amended rules do not have a material adverse effect on any of our broker-dealer subsidiaries.

The Basel III capital standards will impose additional capital and other requirements on us that could decrease our competitiveness and profitability.

In July 2013, the OCC, the FRB, and the FDIC released final U.S. Basel III regulatory capital rules implementing the global regulatory capital reforms of Basel III and certain changes required by the Dodd-Frank Act. The rule increases the quantity and quality of regulatory capital, establishes a capital conservation buffer, and makes selected changes to the calculation of risk-weighted assets. The rule became effective for us January 1, 2015, subject to a transition period for several aspects of the rule, including the new minimum capital ratio requirements, the capital conservation buffer, and the regulatory capital adjustments and deductions. Based on our current analyses, our company and Stifel Bank has met all capital adequacy requirements under the final rules. However, the increased capital requirements could restrict our ability to grow during favorable market conditions or require us to raise additional capital. As a result, our business, results of operations, financial condition, or prospects could be adversely affected.

Failure to comply with regulatory capital requirements primarily applicable to our company, Stifel Bank, or our broker-dealer subsidiaries would significantly harm our business.

Our company and Stifel Bank are subject to various regulatory and capital requirements administered by the federal banking regulators. Under capital adequacy guidelines and the regulatory framework for prompt corrective action, our company and Stifel Bank must meet specific capital guidelines that involve quantitative measures of our company and Stifel Bank’s assets, liabilities, and certain off-balance sheet items as calculated under regulatory accounting practices. Our company’s and Stifel Bank’s capital amounts and classification are also subject to qualitative judgments by the regulators about components of our capital, risk weightings of assets, off-balance sheet transactions, and other factors. Quantitative measures established by regulation to ensure capital adequacy require our company and Stifel Bank to maintain minimum amounts and ratios of Total and Tier I Capital to risk-weighted assets and Tier I Capital to adjusted assets (as defined in the regulations). Failure to meet minimum capital requirements can trigger certain mandatory and possibly additional discretionary actions by regulators that, if undertaken, could harm either our company or Stifel Bank’s operations and our financial condition.

Additionally, as a holding company, we depend on dividends, distributions, and other payments from our subsidiaries to fund payments of our obligations, including, among others, debt service. We are subject to the SEC’s uniform net capital rule (Rule 15c3-1) and the net capital rule of FINRA, which may limit our ability to make withdrawals of capital from our broker-dealer subsidiaries. The uniform net capital rule sets the minimum level of net capital a broker-dealer must maintain and also requires that a portion of its assets be relatively liquid. FINRA may prohibit a member firm from expanding its business or paying cash dividends if resulting net capital falls below its requirements.  Regulatory capital requirements applicable to some of our significant subsidiaries may impede access to funds our company needs to make payments on any such obligations.

See Note 20 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in this Form 10-K for further information on regulations and capital requirements.

We operate in a highly regulated industry in which future developments could adversely affect our business and financial condition.

The securities industry is subject to extensive regulation, and broker-dealers and investment advisors are subject to regulations covering all aspects of the securities business, including but not limited to, sales and trading methods, trade practices among broker-dealers, use and safekeeping of customers’ funds and securities, capital structure of securities firms, anti-money laundering efforts, record keeping, and the conduct of directors, officers, and employees. If laws or regulations are violated, we could be subject to one or more of the following: civil liability, criminal liability, sanctions which could include the revocation of our subsidiaries’ registrations as investment advisors or broker-dealers, the revocation of the licenses of our financial advisors, censures, fines, or a temporary suspension or permanent bar from conducting business. Any of those events could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and prospects.

We are subject to financial holding company regulatory reporting requirements, including the maintenance of certain risk-based regulatory capital levels that could impact various capital allocation decisions of one or more of our businesses. However, due to our

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strong current capital position, we do not anticipate that these capital level requirements will have any negative impact on our future business activities. See the section entitled “Business – Regulation” of Item 1 of this Form 10-K for additional information.

As a financial holding company, we are regulated by the Federal Reserve. Stifel Bank is regulated by the Federal Reserve and the Missouri Division of Finance. This oversight includes, but is not limited to, scrutiny with respect to affiliate transactions and compliance with consumer regulations. The economic and political environment over the past several years has caused increased focus on the regulation of the financial services industry, including many proposals for new rules. Any new rules issued by our regulators could affect us in substantial and unpredictable ways and could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations. We also may be adversely affected as a result of changes in federal, state, or foreign tax laws, or by changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing laws and regulations.

The SEC has proposed certain measures that would establish a new framework to replace the requirements of Rule 12b-1 under the Investment Company Act of 1940 with respect to how mutual funds collect and pay fees to cover the costs of selling and marketing their shares. Any adoption of such measures would be phased in over a number of years. These measures are neither final nor undergoing implementation throughout the financial services industry. The impact of changes such as those currently proposed cannot be predicted at this time. As this regulatory trend continues, it could adversely affect our operations and, in turn, our financial results.

Asset management businesses have experienced a number of highly publicized regulatory inquiries, which have resulted in increased scrutiny within the industry and new rules and regulations for mutual funds, investment advisors, and broker-dealers. As some of our wholly owned subsidiaries are registered as investment advisors with the SEC, increased regulatory scrutiny and rulemaking initiatives may result in augmented operational and compliance costs, or the assessment of significant fines or penalties against our asset management business, and may otherwise limit our ability to engage in certain activities. It is not possible to determine the extent of the impact of any new laws, regulations, or initiatives that may be proposed, or whether any of the proposals will become law. Conformance with any new laws or regulations could make compliance more difficult and expensive and affect the manner in which we conduct business. For example, pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC was charged with considering whether broker-dealers should be subject to a standard of care similar to the fiduciary standard applicable to registered investment advisors. It is not clear whether the SEC will determine that a heightened standard of conduct is appropriate for broker-dealers; however, any such standard, if mandated, would likely require us to review our product and service offerings and implement certain changes, as well as require that we incur additional regulatory costs in order to ensure compliance.

In addition, the U.S. and foreign governments have recently taken regulatory actions impacting the investment management industry, and may continue to take further actions, including expanding current or enacting new standards, requirements and rules that may be applicable to us and our subsidiaries. For example, several states and municipalities in the United States have recently adopted “pay-to-play” rules, which could limit our ability to charge advisory fees. Such “pay-to-play” rules could affect the profitability of that portion of our business. Additionally, the use of “soft dollars,” where a portion of commissions paid to broker-dealers in connection with the execution of trades also pays for research and other services provided to advisors, is periodically reexamined and may in the future be limited or modified. A substantial portion of the research relied on by our investment management business in the investment decision making process is generated internally by our investment analysts and external research, including external research paid for with soft dollars. This external research generally is used for information gathering or verification purposes, and includes broker-provided research, as well as third party provided databases and research services. If the use of soft dollars is limited, we may have to bear some of these additional costs. Furthermore, new regulations regarding the management of hedge funds and the use of certain investment products may impact our investment management business and result in increased costs. For example, many regulators around the world adopted disclosure and reporting requirements relating to the hedge fund businesses or other businesses, and changes to the laws, rules and regulations in the United States related to the over-the-counter swaps and derivatives markets require additional registration, recordkeeping and reporting obligations.

 

See the section entitled “Business – Regulation” within Item 1 of this Form 10-K for additional information regarding our regulatory environment and Item 7A, “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk,” in this Form 10-K regarding our approaches to managing regulatory risk. Regulatory actions brought against us may result in judgments, settlements, fines, penalties, or other results adverse to us, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, or results of operations.

RISKS RELATED TO OUR COMMON STOCK

The market price of our common stock may continue to be volatile.

The market price of our common stock has been, and is likely to continue to be, volatile and subject to fluctuations. Stocks of financial institutions have, from time to time, experienced significant downward pressure in connection with economic conditions or events and may again experience such pressures in the future. Changes in the stock market generally or as it concerns our industry, as well as

23


geopolitical, economic, and business factors unrelated to us, may also affect our stock price. Significant declines in the market price of our common stock or failure of the market price to increase could harm our ability to recruit and retain key employees, including those who have joined us from companies we have acquired, reduce our access to debt or equity capital, and otherwise harm our business or financial condition. In addition, we may not be able to use our common stock effectively as consideration in connection with future acquisitions.

Our current shareholders may experience dilution in their holdings if we issue additional shares of common stock as a result of future offerings or acquisitions where we use our common stock.

As part of our business strategy, we may seek opportunities for growth through strategic acquisitions in which we may consider issuing equity securities as part of the consideration. Additionally, we may obtain additional capital through the public sale of debt or equity securities. If we sell equity securities, the value of our common stock could experience dilution. Furthermore, these securities could have rights, preferences, and privileges more favorable than those of the common stock. Moreover, if we issue additional shares of common stock in connection with equity compensation, future acquisitions, or as a result of financing, an investor’s ownership interest in our company will be diluted.

The issuance of any additional shares of common stock or securities convertible into or exchangeable for common stock or that represent the right to receive common stock, or the exercise of such securities, could be substantially dilutive to holders of our common stock. Holders of our shares of common stock have no preemptive rights that entitle holders to purchase their pro rata share of any offering of shares of any class or series, and therefore, such sales or offerings could result in increased dilution to our shareholders. The market price of our common stock could decline as a result of sales or issuance of shares of our common stock or securities convertible into or exchangeable for common stock.

Provisions in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws and of Delaware law may prevent or delay an acquisition of our company, which could decrease the market value of our common stock.

Our articles of incorporation and bylaws and Delaware law contain provisions that are intended to deter abusive takeover tactics by making them unacceptably expensive to prospective acquirors and to encourage prospective acquirors to negotiate with our board of directors rather than to attempt a hostile takeover. Delaware law also imposes some restrictions on mergers and other business combinations between us and any holder of 15% or more of our outstanding common stock. We believe these provisions protect our shareholders from coercive or otherwise unfair takeover tactics by requiring potential acquirors to negotiate with our board of directors and by providing our board of directors with more time to assess any acquisition proposal. These provisions are not intended to make our company immune from takeovers. However, these provisions apply even if the offer may be considered beneficial by some shareholders and could delay or prevent an acquisition that our board of directors determines is not in the best interests of our company and our shareholders.

 

 

ITEM 1B.  UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

 

 

ITEM 2.  PROPERTIES

The following table sets forth the location, approximate square footage, and use of each of the principal properties used by our company during the year ended December 31, 2015. We own our executive offices in St. Louis, Missouri. We lease or sublease a majority of these properties under operating leases. Such leases expire at various times through 2026.

 

Location

 

Approximate Square Footage

 

 

Use

St. Louis, Missouri1

 

 

434,000

 

 

Headquarters and administrative offices of Stifel,

   Global Wealth Management operations (including CSA),

   and Institutional Group operations

New York, New York

 

 

310,000

 

 

Global Wealth Management and Institutional Group operations

Baltimore, Maryland

 

 

111,000

 

 

Institutional Group operations and Administrative offices

Birmingham, Alabama

 

 

80,600

 

 

Global Wealth Management and Institutional Group operations

Chicago, Illinois

 

 

82,500

 

 

Global Wealth Management and Institutional Group operations

San Francisco, California

 

 

76,000

 

 

Global Wealth Management and Institutional Group operations

Florham Park, New Jersey

 

 

74,000

 

 

Global Wealth Management and Institutional Group operations

24


1

As of December 31, 2015, we occupy approximately 237,000 square feet of the available space in the building, and we anticipate taking additional space over time.

We also maintain operations in 402 leased offices in various locations throughout the United States and in certain foreign countries, primarily for our broker-dealer business. We lease 329 private client offices. In addition, Stifel Bank leases one location for its administrative offices and operations. Our Institutional Group segment leases 37 offices in the United States and certain foreign locations. We believe that, at the present time, the space available to us in the facilities under our current leases and co-location arrangements are suitable and adequate to meet our needs and that such facilities have sufficient productive capacity and are appropriately utilized.

Leases for the branch offices of our independent contractor firms are the responsibility of the respective independent financial advisors.

See Note 18 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for further information regarding our lease obligations.

 

 

ITEM 3.  LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

Our company and its subsidiaries are named in and subject to various proceedings and claims arising primarily from our securities business activities, including lawsuits, arbitration claims, class actions, and regulatory matters. Some of these claims seek substantial compensatory, punitive, or indeterminate damages. Our company and its subsidiaries are also involved in other reviews, investigations, and proceedings by governmental and self-regulatory organizations regarding our business, which may result in adverse judgments, settlements, fines, penalties, injunctions, and other relief. We are contesting the allegations in these claims, and we believe that there are meritorious defenses in each of these lawsuits, arbitrations, and regulatory investigations. In view of the number and diversity of claims against our company, the number of jurisdictions in which litigation is pending, and the inherent difficulty of predicting the outcome of litigation and other claims, we cannot state with certainty what the eventual outcome of pending litigation or other claims will be.

We have established reserves for potential losses that are probable and reasonably estimable that may result from pending and potential legal actions, investigations, and regulatory proceedings. In many cases, however, it is inherently difficult to determine whether any loss is probable or even possible or to estimate the amount or range of any potential loss, particularly where proceedings may be in relatively early stages or where plaintiffs are seeking substantial or indeterminate damages. Matters frequently need to be more developed before a loss or range of loss can reasonably be estimated.

In our opinion, based on currently available information, review with outside legal counsel, and consideration of amounts provided for in our consolidated financial statements with respect to these matters, including the matters described below, the ultimate resolution of these matters will not have a material adverse impact on our financial position and results of operations. However, resolution of one or more of these matters may have a material effect on the results of operations in any future period, depending upon the ultimate resolution of those matters and depending upon the level of income for such period. For matters where a reserve has not been established and for which we believe a loss is reasonably possible, as well as for matters where a reserve has been recorded but for which an exposure to loss in excess of the amount accrued is reasonably possible, based on currently available information, we believe that such losses will not have a material effect on our consolidated financial statements.

SEC/Wisconsin Lawsuit

A civil lawsuit was filed against our company by the SEC in connection with our role in the sale of collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”) investments to five Southeastern Wisconsin school districts (the “school districts”) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin on August 10, 2011. The SEC has asserted claims under Section 15c(1) (A), Section 10b and Rule 10b-5 of the Exchange Act and Sections 17a(1), 17a(2) and 17a(3) of the Securities Act.  The claims are based upon both alleged misrepresentations and omissions in connection with the sale of the CDOs to the school districts, as well as the allegedly unsuitable nature of the CDOs.  We answered, denied the substantive allegations of the amended complaint and asserted various affirmative defenses.  In January 2016, the parties filed motions for summary judgment and are awaiting the court’s rulings on those motions.  The lawsuit had been set for trial commencing on April 11, 2016, but the Court has postponed the trial to commence on September 12, 2016. While there can be no assurance that we will be successful, we intend to vigorously defend the SEC’s claims.

EDC Bond Issuance Matter

We have been named, along with other parties, in a lawsuit filed in Wisconsin state court asserting various claims by LDF Acquisition LLC (“LDF”), a special purpose vehicle created by Saybrook Tax Exempt Investors LLC (collectively “Saybrook”) and by the Lac Du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians and its Lake of the Torches Economic Development Corporation (the “Tribe”) in which, among other things, Saybrook seeks repayment from the Tribe for the proceeds from a $50 Million 2008 bond offering (“the bonds’) and in which the Tribe seeks to avoid repayment, as well as other claims against us and others. We were the initial purchaser of the bonds, which were immediately sold to LDF.  The claims asserted against Stifel are for breaches of implied warranties of

25


validity and title, securities fraud and statutory misrepresentation under Wisconsin state law, intentional and negligent misrepresentations relating to those matters. Saybrook seeks rescissionary relief as well as restitutionary damages, including the amounts paid for the bonds, plus costs. The claims are set for trial commencing on October 11, 2016. While there can be no assurance that we will be successful, we intend to vigorously defend the SEC’s claims.

Broyles, et al. v. Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. et al. Matter

Our Company, Stifel Nicolaus and Stone & Youngberg, LLC (“Stone & Youngberg”) are named in an Amended Complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana alleging fraud on the part of Stone & Youngberg in the formation of the Collybus CDO manufactured by Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. (“Cantor”) and purchased by Commonwealth Advisors (CA) on behalf of several CA funds, as well as in connection with other transactions in the CA funds with CA. The original Complaint named Cantor, CA, and CA’s CEO, Walter Morales.  The CA funds filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition which stayed the original lawsuit until the reorganization plan was entered by the court in the fall of 2013. Shortly thereafter, the CA funds filed their first Amended Complaint, which has been amended several times since then. The claims are set for trial commencing on November 28, 2016.  While there can be no assurance that we will be successful, we intend to vigorously defend the claims. We have established reserves supported by purchase price consideration the Company has withheld pursuant to the terms of the acquisition of Stone & Youngberg in 2011 which at this time we believe are adequate.

 

 

ITEM 4.  MINE SAFTEY DISCLOSURES

Not applicable.

 

 

26


PART II

 

 

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS, AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Market Information

Our common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and Chicago Stock Exchange under the symbol “SF.” The closing sale price of our common stock as reported on the New York Stock Exchange on February 19, 2016, was $31.18. As of that date, our common stock was held by approximately 24,100 shareholders. The following table sets forth for the periods indicated the high and low trades for our common stock:

 

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

 

High

 

 

Low

 

 

High

 

 

Low

 

First quarter

 

$

57.75

 

 

$

45.96

 

 

$

51.59

 

 

$

43.11

 

Second quarter

 

$

59.93

 

 

$

51.98

 

 

$

50.66

 

 

$

43.57

 

Third quarter

 

$

58.71

 

 

$

41.53

 

 

$

49.74

 

 

$

44.43

 

Fourth quarter

 

$

47.17

 

 

$

40.52

 

 

$

52.15

 

 

$

41.47

 

 

We did not pay cash dividends during 2015 or 2014. The payment of dividends on our common stock is subject to several factors, including operating results, financial requirements of our company, and the availability of funds from our subsidiaries. See Note 20 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for more information on the capital restrictions placed on our broker-dealer subsidiaries and Stifel Bank.

Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans

Information about securities authorized for issuance under our equity compensation plans is contained in Item 12, “Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters.”

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

The following tables sets forth information with respect to purchases made by or on behalf of Stifel Financial Corp. or any “affiliated purchaser” (as defined in Rule 10b-10(a)(3) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended), of our common stock during the quarter ended December 31, 2015.

 

 

 

Total Number of

Shares Purchased

 

 

Average Price Paid

per Share

 

 

Total Number of

Shares

Purchased as

Part of Publically

Announced Plans

 

 

Maximum Number

of Shares That May

Yet be Purchased

Under the Plan or

Program

 

October 1 - 31, 2015

 

 

300,000

 

 

 

42.15

 

 

 

300,000

 

 

 

1,769,235

 

November 1 - 30, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6,769,235

 

December 1 - 31, 2015

 

 

924,000

 

 

 

42.48

 

 

 

924,000

 

 

 

5,845,235

 

 

 

 

1,224,000

 

 

 

42.40

 

 

 

1,224,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have on ongoing authorization from the Board of Directors to repurchase our common stock in the open market or in negotiated transactions. On November 3, 2015, the Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of an additional 5.0 million shares. At December 31, 2015, the maximum number of shares that may yet be purchased under this plan was 5.8 million. On February 17, 2016, the Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of an additional 5.0 million shares.

27


Stock Performance Graph

Five-Year Shareholder Return Comparison

The graph below compares the cumulative stockholder return on our common stock with the cumulative total return of a Peer Group Index, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (“S&P 500”), and the NYSE ARCA Securities Broker-Dealer Index for the five-year period ended December 31, 2015. The NYSE ARCA Securities Broker-Dealer Index consists of twelve firms in the brokerage sector. The Broker-Dealer Index includes our company. The stock price information shown on the graph below is not necessarily indicative of future price performance.

The material in this report is not deemed “filed” with the SEC and is not to be incorporated by reference into any filing under the Securities Act of 1933 or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, whether made before or after the date hereof and irrespective of any general incorporation language in any such filings.

The following table and graph assume that $100.00 was invested on December 31, 2010, in our common stock, the Peer Group Index, the S&P 500 Index, and the NYSE ARCA Securities Broker-Dealer Index, with reinvestment of dividends.

 

 

 

 

2011

 

 

 

2012

 

 

 

2013

 

 

 

2014

 

 

 

2015

 

Stifel Financial Corp.

 

$

77

 

 

$

77

 

 

$

116

 

 

$

123

 

 

$

102

 

Peer Group

 

$

56

 

 

$

78

 

 

$

111

 

 

$

127

 

 

$

114

 

S&P 500 Index

 

$

102

 

 

$

118

 

 

$

157

 

 

$

178

 

 

$

181

 

NYSE ARCA Securities Broker-Dealer Index

 

$

69

 

 

$

78

 

 

$

132

 

 

$

152

 

 

$

147

 

 

 

 

*Compound Annual Growth Rate

The Peer Group Index consists of the following companies that serve the same markets as us and which compete with us in one or more markets:

 

FBR & Co.

 

Raymond James Financial, Inc.

Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc.

 

SWS Group, Inc.

JMP Group, Inc.

 

Stifel Financial Corp.

Piper Jaffray Companies

 

Morgan Stanley

Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

 

 

 

28


 

ITEM 6.  SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The following selected consolidated financial data (presented in thousands, except per share amounts) is derived from our consolidated financial statements. This data should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and notes thereto and with Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”

 

 

 

Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

 

2015

 

 

 

2014

 

 

 

2013

 

 

 

2012

 

 

 

2011

 

Revenues:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commissions

 

$

749,536

 

 

$

674,418

 

 

$

640,287

 

 

$

518,803

 

 

$

550,903

 

Principal transactions

 

 

389,319

 

 

 

409,823

 

 

 

408,954

 

 

 

380,160

 

 

 

334,282

 

Investment banking

 

 

503,052

 

 

 

578,689

 

 

 

457,736

 

 

 

292,686

 

 

 

195,506

 

Asset management and service fees

 

 

493,761

 

 

 

386,001

 

 

 

305,639

 

 

 

257,981

 

 

 

228,831

 

Interest

 

 

179,101

 

 

 

185,969

 

 

 

142,539

 

 

 

108,705

 

 

 

89,199

 

Other income

 

 

62,224

 

 

 

14,785

 

 

 

64,659

 

 

 

69,148

 

 

 

19,651

 

Total revenues

 

 

2,376,993

 

 

 

2,249,685

 

 

 

2,019,814

 

 

 

1,627,483

 

 

 

1,418,372

 

Interest expense

 

 

45,399

 

 

 

41,261

 

 

 

46,368

 

 

 

33,370

 

 

 

25,304

 

Net revenues

 

 

2,331,594

 

 

 

2,208,424

 

 

 

1,973,446

 

 

 

1,594,113

 

 

 

1,393,068

 

Non-interest expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compensation and benefits

 

 

1,568,862

 

 

 

1,403,932

 

 

 

1,311,386

 

 

 

1,010,140

 

 

 

887,210

 

Occupancy and equipment rental

 

 

207,465

 

 

 

169,040

 

 

 

158,268

 

 

 

128,365

 

 

 

119,944

 

Communications and office supplies

 

 

130,678

 

 

 

106,926

 

 

 

99,726

 

 

 

79,406

 

 

 

74,037

 

Commissions and floor brokerage

 

 

42,518

 

 

 

36,555

 

 

 

37,225

 

 

 

29,610

 

 

 

25,423

 

Other operating expenses

 

 

240,504

 

 

 

201,177

 

 

 

181,612

 

 

 

116,845

 

 

 

148,305

 

Total non-interest expenses

 

 

2,190,027

 

 

 

1,917,630

 

 

 

1,788,217

 

 

 

1,364,366

 

 

 

1,254,919

 

Income from continuing operations before income

   tax expense

 

 

141,567

 

 

 

290,794

 

 

 

185,229

 

 

 

229,747

 

 

 

138,149

 

Provision for income taxes

 

 

49,231

 

 

 

111,664

 

 

 

12,322

 

 

 

84,451

 

 

 

53,880

 

Income from continuing operations

 

 

92,336

 

 

 

179,130

 

 

 

172,907

 

 

 

145,296

 

 

 

84,269

 

Discontinued operations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loss from discontinued operations, net of tax

 

 

 

 

 

(3,063

)

 

 

(10,894

)

 

 

(6,723

)

 

 

(135

)

Net income

 

$

92,336

 

 

$

176,067

 

 

$

162,013

 

 

$

138,573

 

 

$

84,134

 

Earnings per basic common share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income from continuing operations

 

$

1.35

 

 

$

2.69

 

 

$

2.72

 

 

$

2.71

 

 

$

1.61

 

Loss from discontinued operations

 

 

-

 

 

 

(0.04

)

 

 

(0.17

)

 

 

(0.12

)

 

 

 

Earnings per basic common share

 

$

1.35

 

 

$

2.65

 

 

$

2.55

 

 

$

2.59

 

 

$

1.61

 

Earnings per diluted common share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income from continuing operations

 

$

1.18

 

 

$

2.35

 

 

$

2.35

 

 

$

2.31

 

 

$

1.34

 

Loss from discontinued operations

 

 

-

 

 

 

(0.04

)

 

 

(0.15

)

 

 

(0.11

)

 

 

 

Earnings per diluted common share

 

$

1.18

 

 

$

2.31

 

 

$

2.20

 

 

$

2.20

 

 

$

1.34

 

Weighted-average number of common shares outstanding:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

 

68,543

 

 

 

66,472

 

 

 

63,568

 

 

 

53,563

 

 

 

52,418

 

Diluted

 

 

78,554

 

 

 

76,376

 

 

 

73,504

 

 

 

62,937

 

 

 

63,058

 

Financial Condition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

 

$

13,334,270

 

 

$

9,518,151

 

 

$

9,008,870

 

 

$

6,966,140

 

 

$

4,951,900

 

Long-term obligations

 

$

832,500

 

 

$

707,500

 

 

$

410,631

 

 

$

471,810

 

 

$

89,457

 

Shareholders’ equity

 

$

2,492,416

 

 

$

2,322,038

 

 

$

2,058,849

 

 

$

1,494,661

 

 

$

1,302,105

 

 

Our Canadian subsidiary, Stifel Nicolaus Canada, Inc. (“SN Canada”) has ceased business operations as of September 30, 2013. The results of SN Canada, previously reported in the Institutional Group segment, are classified as discontinued operations for all periods presented.

29


The following items should be considered when comparing the data from year to year: 1) litigation-related expenses in 2011 associated with the civil lawsuit and related regulatory investigation in connection with the ongoing matter with five Southeastern Wisconsin school districts; 2) the acquisition of Stone & Youngberg on October 1, 2011; 3) the gains recognized on our investment in Knight Capital Group, Inc. during 2012; 4) the merger with KBW on February 15, 2013; 5) the acquisitions of the U.S. institutional fixed income sales and trading business and the hiring of the European institutional fixed income sales and trading team from Knight Capital Group in July 2013; 6) the expensing of stock awards issued as retention as part of the acquisitions of the KBW and Knight Capital Fixed Income business during 2013; 7) the recognition of a U.S. tax benefit in connection with discontinuing the business operations of SN Canada during the third quarter of 2013; 8) the acquisitions of De La Rosa, Oriel, and 1919 Investment Counsel during 2014 and the expensing of stock awards issued as retention as part of the Oriel and 1919 Investment Counsel acquisitions in 2014, the acquisitions of Sterne and Barclays during 2015. See Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” made part hereof, for a discussion of these items and other items that may affect the comparability of data from year to year.

 

 

30


ITEM 7.  MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The following discussion of the financial condition and results of operations of our company should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes thereto included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015.

Unless otherwise indicated, the terms “we,” “us,” “our,” or “our company” in this report refer to Stifel Financial Corp. and its wholly owned subsidiaries.

Executive Summary

We operate as a financial services and bank holding company. We have built a diversified business serving private clients, institutional investors, and investment banking clients located across the country. Our principal activities are: (i) private client services, including securities transaction and financial planning services; (ii) institutional equity and fixed income sales, trading, and research, and municipal finance; (iii) investment banking services, including mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, and private placements; and (iv) retail and commercial banking, including personal and commercial lending programs.

Our core philosophy is based upon a tradition of trust, understanding, and studied advice. We attract and retain experienced professionals by fostering a culture of entrepreneurial, long-term thinking. We provide our private, institutional, and corporate clients quality, personalized service, with the theory that if we place clients’ needs first, both our clients and our company will prosper. Our unwavering client and employee focus have earned us a reputation as one of the nation’s leading wealth management and investment banking firms. We have grown our business both organically and through opportunistic acquisitions.

We plan to maintain our focus on revenue growth with a continued appreciation for the development of quality client relationships. Within our private client business, our efforts will be focused on recruiting experienced financial advisors with established client relationships. Within our capital markets business, our focus continues to be on providing quality client management and product diversification. In executing our growth strategy, we will continue to seek out opportunities that allow us to take advantage of the consolidation among middle-market firms, whereby allowing us to increase market share in our private client and institutional group businesses.

Stifel Financial Corp., through its wholly owned subsidiaries, is principally engaged in retail brokerage; securities trading; investment banking; investment advisory; retail, consumer, and commercial banking; and related financial services. We have offices throughout the United States and in several European cities. Our principal customers are individual investors, corporations, municipalities, and institutions.

We plan to maintain our focus on revenue growth with a continued focus on developing quality relationships with our clients. Within our private client business, our efforts will be focused on recruiting experienced financial advisors with established client relationships. Within our institutional group business, our focus continues to be on providing quality client management and product diversification. In executing our growth strategy, we take advantage of the consolidation among middle-market firms, which we believe provides us opportunities in our Global Wealth Management and Institutional Group businesses.

Our ability to attract and retain highly skilled and productive employees is critical to the success of our business. Accordingly, compensation and benefits comprise the largest component of our expenses, and our performance is dependent upon our ability to attract, develop, and retain highly skilled employees who are motivated and committed to providing the highest quality of service and guidance to our clients.

On January 15, 2015 (the “redemption date”), we redeemed 100% of our company’s outstanding 6.70% Senior Notes due 2022. The redemption price was equal to the sum of the principal amount of the Notes outstanding and accrued and unpaid interest on the Notes up to, but not including, the redemption date.

On June 5, 2015, we completed the purchase of all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Sterne Agee Group, Inc. (“Sterne Agee”), a financial services firm that offers comprehensive wealth management and investment services to a diverse client base including corporations, municipalities and individual investors. The purchase was completed pursuant to the merger agreement dated February 23, 2015. We issued 1.4 million shares related to the purchase of Sterne Agee Group, Inc.

Upon the close of the acquisition, certain employees were granted restricted stocks units of our company as retention. The fair value of the awards issued as retention was $23.8 million. The fair value of the awards is based upon the closing price of our company’s common stock on the date of grant. There are no continuing service requirements associated with these restricted stock units, and accordingly were expensed at date of grant. This charge is included in compensation and benefits in the consolidated statement of

31


operations for the year ended December 31, 2015. In addition, we have paid $33.8 million in the form of notes to associates for retention. These notes will be forgiven by a charge to compensation and benefits over a five- to ten-year period if the individual satisfies certain conditions, usually based on continued employment and certain performance standards.

On December 1, 2015, we sold in a registered underwritten public offering, $300.0 million in aggregate principal amount of 3.50% senior notes due December 2020 (the “2015 Notes”). Interest on the 2015 Notes is payable semi-annually in arrears. We may redeem the 2015 Notes in whole or in part, at our option, at a redemption price equal to 100% of their principal amount, plus a “make-whole” premium and accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to the date of redemption. Proceeds from the 2015 Notes issuance of $297.0 million, after discounts, commissions, and expenses, were used for general corporate purposes.

On December 4, 2015, we completed the purchase of the Barclays’ Wealth and Investment Management (“Barclays”), Americas franchise in the U.S. Under the agreement, we acquired approximately $2.1 billion of assets, including securities-based loans, margin loans, and broker-notes. Acquired assets were recorded at fair value. The fair values for loans were estimated using discounted cash flow analyses using interest rates currently being offered for loans with similar terms.

Results for the year ended December 31, 2015

For the year ended December 31, 2015, net revenues from continuing operations increased 5.6% to a record $2.33 billion compared to $2.21 billion during the comparable period in 2014. Net income, including continuing and discontinued operations, decreased 47.6% to $92.3 million, or $1.18 per diluted common share, for the year ended December 31, 2015, compared to $176.1 million, or $2.31 per diluted common share, in 2014. Net income from continuing operations decreased 48.5% to $92.3 million, or $1.18 per diluted common share, for the year ended December 31, 2015, compared to $179.1 million, or $2.35 per diluted common share, in 2014.

Our revenue growth for the year ended December 31, 2015, was primarily attributable to growth in asset management and service fees as a result of increased assets under management; an increase in brokerage revenues; and an increase in other revenues. The increase in revenue growth over the comparable period in 2014 was offset by a decline in investment banking revenues, and net interest income. In addition, our revenue growth was positively impacted by the acquisitions of Sterne and Barclays during 2015.

External Factors Impacting Our Business

Performance in the financial services industry in which we operate is highly correlated to the overall strength of economic conditions and financial market activity. Overall market conditions are a product of many factors, which are beyond our control and mostly unpredictable. These factors may affect the financial decisions made by investors, including their level of participation in the financial markets. In turn, these decisions may affect our business results. With respect to financial market activity, our profitability is sensitive to a variety of factors, including the demand for investment banking services as reflected by the number and size of equity and debt financings and merger and acquisition transactions, the volatility of the equity and fixed income markets, the level and shape of various yield curves, the volume and value of trading in securities, and the value of our customers’ assets under management. The municipal underwriting market is challenging as state and local governments reduce their debt levels. Investors are showing a lack of demand for longer-dated municipals and are reluctant to take on credit or liquidity risks. Investor confidence has been dampened by continued uncertainty surrounding the U.S. fiscal and debt ceiling, the debt concerns in Europe, and sluggish employment growth.

Our overall financial results continue to be highly and directly correlated to the direction and activity levels of the United States equity and fixed income markets. At December 31, 2015, the key indicators of the markets’ performance, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.7% and 2.2% lower than their December 31, 2014, closing prices, respectively. The NASDAQ closed 5.7% higher than its December 31, 2014 closing price.

As a participant in the financial services industry, we are subject to complicated and extensive regulation of our business. The recent economic and political environment has led to legislative and regulatory initiatives, both enacted and proposed, that could substantially intensify the regulation of the financial services industry and may significantly impact us.

32


RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The following table presents consolidated financial information for the periods indicated (in thousands, except percentages):

 

 

 

For the Year Ended December 31,

 

 

Percentage

Change

 

 

As a Percentage of

Net Revenues

for the Year Ended

December 31,

 

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

2013

 

 

2015 vs. 2014

 

 

2014 vs. 2013

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

2013

 

Revenues:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commissions

 

$

749,536

 

 

$

690,197

 

 

$

640,287

 

 

 

8.6

 

 

 

5.3

 

 

 

32.1

%

 

 

30.5

%

 

 

32.4

%

Principal transactions

 

 

389,319

 

 

 

409,929

 

 

 

408,954

 

 

 

(5.0

)

 

 

0.2

 

 

 

16.7

 

 

 

18.6

 

 

 

20.7

 

Investment banking

 

 

503,052

 

 

 

562,804

 

 

 

457,736

 

 

 

(10.6

)

 

 

26.4

 

 

 

21.6

 

 

 

26.2

 

 

 

23.2

 

Asset management and service fees

 

 

493,761

 

 

 

386,001

 

 

 

305,639

 

 

 

27.9

 

 

 

26.3

 

 

 

21.2

 

 

 

17.5

 

 

 

15.5

 

Interest

 

 

179,101

 

 

 

185,969

 

 

 

142,539

 

 

 

(3.7

)

 

 

30.5

 

 

 

7.7

 

 

 

8.4

 

 

 

7.2

 

Other income

 

 

62,224

 

 

 

14,785

 

 

 

64,659

 

 

 

320.9

 

 

 

(77.1

)

 

 

2.6

 

 

 

0.7

 

 

 

3.3

 

Total revenues

 

 

2,376,993

 

 

 

2,249,685

 

 

 

2,019,814

 

 

 

5.7

 

 

 

11.4

 

 

 

101.9

 

 

 

101.9

 

 

 

102.3

 

Interest expense

 

 

45,399

 

 

 

41,261

 

 

 

46,368

 

 

 

10.0

 

 

 

(11.0

)

 

 

1.9

 

 

 

1.9

 

 

 

2.3

 

Net revenues

 

 

2,331,594

 

 

 

2,208,424

 

 

 

1,973,446

 

 

 

5.6

 

 

 

11.9

 

 

 

100.0

 

 

 

100.0

 

 

 

100.0

 

Non-interest expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compensation and benefits

 

 

1,568,862

 

 

 

1,403,932

 

 

 

1,311,386

 

 

 

11.7

 

 

 

7.1

 

 

 

67.3

 

 

 

63.6

 

 

 

66.5

 

Occupancy and equipment rental

 

 

207,465

 

 

 

169,040

 

 

 

158,268

 

 

 

22.7

 

 

 

6.8

 

 

 

8.9

 

 

 

7.6

 

 

 

8.0

 

Communication and office supplies

 

 

130,678

 

 

 

106,926

 

 

 

99,726

 

 

 

22.2

 

 

 

7.2

 

 

 

5.6

 

 

 

4.8

 

 

 

5.0

 

Commissions and floor brokerage

 

 

42,518

 

 

 

36,555

 

 

 

37,225

 

 

 

16.3

 

 

 

(1.8

)

 

 

1.8

 

 

 

1.7

 

 

 

1.9

 

Other operating expenses

 

 

240,504

 

 

 

201,177

 

 

 

181,612

 

 

 

19.5

 

 

 

10.8

 

 

 

10.3

 

 

 

9.1

 

 

 

9.2

 

Total non-interest expenses

 

 

2,190,027

 

 

 

1,917,630

 

 

 

1,788,217

 

 

 

14.2

 

 

 

7.2

 

 

 

93.9

 

 

 

86.8

 

 

 

90.6

 

Income from continuing operations before income taxes