Apparently benefiting from Wall Street's troubles, Fidelity Investments said today it helped a record number of brokers go independent in 2009.

Fidelity said it helped 191 broker teams start their own RIA firm, join an existing RIA on Fidelity's platform or join a broker/dealer client of National Financial, Fidelity's correspondent clearing business.

Last year provided ample opportunities for recruiters of wirehouse talent, largely because of the discontent created by the financial collapse in the fall of 2008 and the role that Wall Street banks played in the crisis.

"While brokers have been going independent for years, 2009 will likely be looked upon as a watershed year for movement," said Michael Durbin, president, Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services. "With the current market situation, we expect there to be even more movement in 2010. To help brokers considering independence, we will continue to invest in the resources they need to evaluate their options and make a smooth transition for themselves and their clients."