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Introducing Broker (IB)


An Introducing Broker (IB) is a financial professional or firm that is permitted to deal directly with clients while delegating the responsibility of holding and managing the clients’ funds to another broker/dealer. Typically, they are involved in recommending and advising clients on investment decisions. The introduction of clients to the counterparty that executes trades, also known as a futures commision merchant (FCM), is part of the IB’s responsibility.


The phonetics of the keyword “Introducing Broker (IB)” would be:Introducing: /ɪn.trə.duː.sɪŋ/Broker: /ˈbroʊ.kər/IB: /aɪ biː/

Key Takeaways

  1. Role of an Introducing Broker (IB): An Introducing Broker facilitates the transactions between a customer and a dealer in securities or other financial assets. They are responsible for soliciting and servicing the clients but pass on the work of executing trades and holding customer cash and securities to a Futures Commission Merchant (FCM).
  2. Advantages: An IB is particularly advantageous for smaller investors, as they usually offer a personalized level of service, including investment advice and financial planning. They provide a direct link between the client and the markets, facilitating transactions seamlessly.
  3. Regulations: Introducing Brokers (IBs) are subjected to regulations and must be registered and meet certain financial requirements. They are governed by regulatory bodies like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in the United States, ensuring they adhere to the best practices.


Introducing Broker (IB) is an important term in business and finance because it refers to individuals or businesses that deal directly with clients, but delegate the work of the floor operation and trade execution to another futures merchant, typically a Futures Commission Merchant (FCM). IBs play a crucial role in the financial industry by expanding the reach of financial institutions and providing clients with personalized service and support. Besides, they streamline the process of trading by facilitating the relationship between the client and the trading floor, and often specialize in certain areas, thus providing expert advice and strategies. Therefore, an IB can play a key part in enhancing the customer’s investment success.


Introducing Brokers (IBs) serve as an important entity in the financial services industry, facilitating transactions between clients and various financial services providers. Their purpose is primarily to consolidate and simplify the process where clients, especially those with less experience or limited knowledge about financial markets, need access to these services. The IB becomes a significant point of connection, enabling clients to navigate complex marketplaces more efficiently than they might have been able to manage on their own. Involved in various facets of finance, including stocks, futures contracts, or commodities trading, an Introducing Broker essentially introduces and recommends potential clients to brokerage firms, carrying brokers or trading firms. The IB earns a commission based on the trading activity of the clients they introduce. They can be seen as mediators who bridge the gap between clients and capital markets, focusing on client needs and seeking the best options for their investment potential, often strengthening financial literacy through guidance and bringing-in additional business to the firms they work with.


1. Lightspeed Financial Services Group: Lightspeed is a well-known introducing broker that provides powerful trading tools and resources for traders. They handle client transactions but use electronic communication networks alongside firms like E*Trade Securities for trade executions. 2. TradeStation: Another example of an introducing broker is TradeStation, a company that offers brokerage services for active traders and investors. They deliver advanced trading technology and educational support but the execution, clearance, and settlement of transactions may be performed by other broker-dealers.3. Ironbeam: Ironbeam is a Futures Commission Merchant (FCM) that also specializes as an introducing broker. The firm gives trading access to multinational corporations, broker-dealers, and private individuals but the actual settlement of trades is performed by third-party clearing entities.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is an Introducing Broker (IB)?

An Introducing Broker (IB) is a professional or firm that introduces prospects to a broker, typically in the investment, insurance or derivative industry. They usually receive a commission in return.

What is the role of an Introducing Broker?

The main role of an Introducing Broker (IB) is to solicit customers for their primary broker. They provide research, customer service, and most importantly, access to products and services. However, they do not hold customers’ funds for trading.

How does an Introducing Broker earn?

An Introducing Broker earns through commissions received for introductions made. The fee is usually based on the trading activity of the introduced client or a portion of the spread revenue.

Does an Introducing Broker carry out trading activities?

No, they do not carry out trading activities. The trades are conducted by the clearing broker or the main broker. They take care of trade execution, accounting, and settlements.

What is the difference between an Introducing Broker and a Clearing Broker?

An Introducing Broker only considers the clients and introduces them to the clearing broker. It doesn’t handle any trades. A clearing broker, on the other hand, handles actual trades, maintains customer records, and provides the necessary technology and other operational support.

Is an Introducing Broker required to be registered?

Yes, generally, an Introducing Broker should be registered with the necessary regulatory bodies in their working jurisdiction, such as the National Futures Association (NFA) in the U.S. or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the U.K.

What are the potential advantages of working with an Introducing Broker?

Working with an Introducing Broker provides advantages such as access to various capital markets, personalized customer service, and expert advice. Introducing Brokers often have extensive knowledge and a high degree of responsiveness which can be beneficial to traders. The main broker also benefits by reaching a larger number of potential clients without investing in marketing.

How can I become an Introducing Broker?

To become an Introducing Broker, you need to meet specific requirements such as registration with the appropriate regulatory body. At the same time, you need to have good knowledge and a network within the financial industry. It’s also necessary to work under a clearing broker’s umbrella or find one willing to allow you to operate under them.

Related Finance Terms

  • Clearing Broker: This is the broker that handles the completion process of transactions made by the introducing broker.
  • Compliance Regulations: Rules set by regulatory bodies like the SEC and FINRA that Introducing Brokers must follow to prevent fraud and protect investors.
  • Brokerage Fee: The commission that an Introducing Broker earns by directing a client to a clearing broker for transaction execution.
  • Client Accounts: These are the individual, group, or corporate accounts that an Introducing Broker services.
  • Service Agreement: A formal contract between the introducing broker and the clearing broker that describes their relationship, responsibilities, and brokerage fees.

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