Broker Check

Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc.

Northwest Investment Advisors, Inc. (NWIA) utilizes Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc. (SALI) to provide their clearance needs. SALI is one of the leading clearing firms in the United States. Our responsibility is to execute and process securities transactions and carry client accounts on a fully disclosed basis for NWIA. Through NWIA's clearing arrangement with us, described in the clearing document, we will strive to provide NWIA and you with the best professional services and products available.

We understand that you may have some questions about this clearing arrangement, and how clearing firms work. The following are a few commonly asked questions about these issues. Please feel free to contact NWIA if you have any additional questions.

  1. What is "clearing" and why does my broker need clearing services? - Because securities markets are highly regulated, whenever money and securities are exchanged, regulatory bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission require that every aspect of the transaction be documented and verified. The process of transferring ownership of a security, recording and confirming the transfer, performing the required calculations, and completing and documenting the trade is known as "clearing".
  2. How are clearing functions different from brokerage activities? - Your broker dealer (or brokerage firm) is not affiliated with SALI. It is responsible for initiating transactions on your behalf. SALI handles the processing relative to those transactions. SALI does not provide investment advice, supervise the activities of your broker dealer, nor do we execute any order received directly from you. Your brokerage firm is responsible for investigating and resolving any inquiries you may have concerning your account. For a detailed description of the separate responsibilities of SALI and your brokerage firm, please refer to the "Clearing Responsibilities" section of this document.
  3. What is a fully disclosed relationship between my broker and SALI? - The term "fully disclosed" simply means that your brokerage firm discloses your name and address information to us.
  4. How long has Sterne, Agee & Leach (SALI) been providing services to investors? Based in Birmingham, Alabama, we have been providing services to investors for over 100 years. We service many investors and brokerage firms nationwide. Our experienced staff of managers have, on average, over 20 years experience in the brokerage business, with resumes that include some of the biggest fi rms on Wall Street. These dedicated individuals are highly responsive in working to meet your needs promptly.
  5. Will I be interacting with SALI? On behalf of your brokerage firm and its clients, SALI operates in an execution and clearing capacity that is almost totally behind the scenes. You will seldom, if ever, have the occasion for direct contact with SALI.
  6. Who keeps me informed of activity in my account? You place all transactions and inquiries through your broker. SALI sends you a confirmation of every securities transaction in your account. We also provide you with a monthly statement of your account in a clear, easy-to read format. For further information about your statement, please contact your broker.
  7. Are the assets in my account protected? Yes. Securities regulations require that all transactions be paid by settlement date. Make checks payable to Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc. SALI is a member of Securities Investors Protection Corporation (SIPC), which provides protection up to $500,000, including $100,000 for cash (explanatory brochure available upon request or at http://www.sipc.org/). Our Priority Customer Protection program provides an additional $24.5 million coverage for each account covered by SIPC, with an aggregate loss limit of $100 million. This excess SIPC coverage is provided by Lloyd's of London. SIPC and Priority Protection insurance do not protect against market fluctuation.
  8. What other ways does the relationship with SALI benefit my broker? Through SALI, your broker has execution capabilities on the New York Stock Exchange and all other major exchanges. We further support your brokerage firm with an Over-the-Counter Trading Department and a Fixed Income Trading Department specializing in government, corporate and municipal bonds, certificates of deposit (CDs), and collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs). All of these capabilities allow your brokerage firm to provide the same service found at the largest nationally based brokerage firms.
  9. Does SALI provide features that can benefit me directly? For your convenience and anticipation of settlement on T + 1, we offer an enhanced cash management account, which features a no minimum balance requirement, unlimited checkwriting, a Platinum VISA debit/ATM card, and a credit reserve which will automatically loan you up to 50% of the value of marginable securities in your account.

Other Important Policies and Disclosures

Sterne Agee & Leach Inc. Home Office Contact Info

Sterne Agee & Leach Inc.
2 Perimeter Park South #100-W
Birmingham, AL 35243

Telephone:  800-240-1438

Fax: 205-414-3210

E-mail: [email protected]

Web Site:  www.sterneagee.com