Financial professionals likely thought their books and bottom lines couldn’t be hit harder than they were following the recession, says Ian Russell, president and CEO of IIAC in a recent letter.

But in 2013, the “operating revenues and earnings for…domestic institutional [advisory] boutiques fell to their second lowest quarterly levels, reflecting declining equity investment banking and trading businesses.”

He adds, “These firms have struggled to eke out business in the face of unrelenting weakness in resource markets. We know this picture continued through the second quarter of this year and through mid-year, reflecting the [lack] of IPOs and secondary offerings in the small and mid-cap sector.”

As a result, Russell predicts fewer new businesses will open their doors in the next couple years due to “massive structural changes in equity markets, changing investor demographics, and extensive new regulatory demands.”

Read on to check out his list of the 6 things regulators can do to expand and support the financial industry.

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