Wirehouse Broker

DEFINITION of 'Wirehouse Broker'

A non-independent broker working for a wirehouse firm, or a firm with multiple branches such as a national brokerage house. A wirehouse broker is typically a full-service broker, offering research, investment advice and order execution. By being affiliated with the wirehouse, the broker gains access to the firm's proprietary investment products, research and technology.

BREAKING DOWN 'Wirehouse Broker'

It was once thought that in order to provide top service to their clients, brokers had to be affiliated with a wirehouse firm. Independent brokers were often assumed to sellers of prepackaged products and were viewed as second-class citizens in the financial world. Things have changed in this regard, however, as many of the big wirehouses experienced major shocks in the financial crisis of 2007/2008. The financial crisis caused a number of traditional wirehouse firms to fail, and served to level the playing field as wirehouse brokers looked for new options upon leaving the failed firms.