As we put together this year's broker/dealer guide, we spoke with execs and advisors focused squarely on wealth management -- and everything that goes with it. Most broker/dealer executives expressed a strong desire to offer unified managed accounts. Pity them. The integration puzzle is keeping them awake at night and UMAs are just the latest piece. Ongoing product and technology innovation, a strong economy and boomer clients turning age 60 every 10 seconds make for a never-ending process.
Advisors, for their part, continue to trumpet the importance of a diversified and properly allocated financial plan. But it's a complicated investing environment, one that requires increasingly sophisticated strategies. Top advisors are looking for access for early stage private equity and venture capital deals, as well as high-end oil and gas investments. And they're looking for broker/dealers to offer access to these deals within their wealth management
platforms. It's just one more thing to add to a checklist of items considered critical to remain competitive.
Competition to attract quality reps is fierce, and broker/dealers are more creative in the products and services they offer (packaged wealth management platforms being just one). There are bells and whistles that can be customized to suit almost any rep's personality and selling style. So, as we've said many times before, the choice of broker/dealer partner is yours. Choose wisely.