Five Questions for the Top Recruiter

Edward Jones Partner Phill Leathers, who is in charge of advisor recruiting, describes the St. Louis-based firm's latest recruiting plan.

To help it grow its advisor force 9 percent this year, Edward Jones has developed an enhanced transition package for current successful financial advisors who join the firm. As of December 31, 2008, Edward Jones included 12,155 financial advisors - including some in Britain and Canada.

What are Edward Jones' growth targets?

We plan to grow 9-percent in 2009 [which would mean that 1,094 advisors would be added]. And over the next following three years (2010-2012), we would like to grow 10 percent a year.

The average experienced advisor coming on board now has slightly below $40 million in assets under management, according to Edward Jones Partner Phill Leathers, and about $235,000 in yearly gross dealer concessions.

Our new transition package provides guaranteed earnings without the so-called "golden handcuffs." Our financial advisors stay because they want to, not because they have to.

In general, how is recruiting going for Edward Jones?

We hired 31 [veteran] producers in '08, and in '09 are at 33 through March 15. Most, 85 percent, of newly recruited FAs are from wirehouses/national firms.

The average experienced advisor coming on board now has slightly below $40 million in assets under management, and about $235,000 in yearly gross dealer concessions.

We believe everything from our client-focused philosophy and offerings to our unique partnership structure and steadfast plans to grow our branch network makes now an exceptional time for successful financial advisors to learn more about bringing their careers to Edward Jones.

Who is eligible for the new transition package?

Those current financial advisors eligible for the program are required to have at least three years of FA experience, $150,000 in trailing 12-month gross production and $20 million of client assets under management.

Those in this ballpark, transferring over about 80 percent of AUM and doing $65,000 in gross production for six months, for instance, would receive about $111, 997.

Can you give us some details regarding the latest transition package?

The enhanced package includes:

-- An income guarantee based on assets under management;

-- A monthly asset-based bonus for the first six months;

-- A production-based bonus in the second six months;

-- Access to a transition specialist at no charge; and

-- No long-term commitments or payback schedules.

How are you spreading the word about the transition package?

Edward Jones is sending out news of this transition plan via postcards, e-mails and phone calls to some 50,000 advisors nationwide.

For more details on the transition package, go to:

http://www.ejcareer.com/us/explore/

Reprints Discuss this story
This is where the comments go.