Janet Anna and Tommy Williams, co-branch managers who have worked together for a dozen years, believe in a hands-off management style. "We encourage each advisor to fully develop their method of addressing client situations," says Williams.

Anna adds that generous compensation and the freedom to build their client bases are part of the mix that appeals to advisors. That's how the two managers have approached their partnership, which now includes an insurance agency.

The duo met when Anna and her husband were clients of Williams. At the time, Anna was a full-time mom with an MBA, and Williams was a professional with 14 years of experience. Over time, Williams convinced Anna to join the firm, and eventually they formed a partnership.

If everything were that easy, they would have no complaints. But what's their take on the state of the industry? They both see the need for better time management in the industry. But the other-more compliance oversight-has them even more worried. "We're rapidly reaching the point where compliance and legal [departments] are substituting their judgment for the advisors," Williams says. He acknowledges that the pendulum had previously swung too far in the other direction, creating the need for current regulation. But now "the challenge is getting compliance and legal to recognize the difference between branches that insist on high ethical standards and those who do not," he says. "If this problem is not addressed, the relationship between firms and their advisors will hurt the people we both seek to serve."

Bank/TPM: Woodforest National Bank/Raymond James

Location: The Woodlands, Texas

No. of reps managed: 5

Avg. production per rep: $648,020

Total production 2011 (projected): $3.2m

Total production 2010: $2.7m

AUM 2011: $528.5m

AUM 2010: $531.2m

Years at the bank: 11

Years in the industry: Anna, 11; Williams, 25

Age of program: 11

Total number of branches: 5

Product mix: Managed accounts 35%; mutual funds 27%; VAs 17%; equities 13%; fixed income 5%; life insurance 2%; fixed annuities 1%

Do you decide what products are on the shelf? No