From the November 2011 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

November 1, 2011

The Kids Are Alright

We’ve got a problem. The advisor industry needs next-gen talent, next-gen talent desperately needs a job. It’s boring and cliché to ask from whence the next generation of advisors will come. They’re all around us. If we can’t get it done with 9.1% unemployment, slap the “L” on our foreheads.

It was (again) a topic at this year’s FPA confab in San Diego, and new social media initiatives introduced by the organization to appeal to the younger set are certainly encouraging. Michael Di Girolamo, head of Raymond James’ investment advisors division, notes in this month’s issue that fewer advisor/owners are looking to sell.

“I’m not seeing the number of advisors looking to sell their firms and exit the business that I once did,” he says. “Part of that is due to the fact that revenues have rebounded and they’re making money again, so there’s more incentive to retain the business.”

This means they’ll be around longer, with more time to train, mentor and consider their exit and succession planning options.

It all adds up to the fact that in an environment of anemic GDP and overall economic malaise, advisor firms have an opportunity afforded few others—explosive growth, something IA contributor Angela Herbers details in this month’s cover story. Herbers’ groundbreaking research centers on finding, training and properly incentivizing the right employees.

“Businesses that prepare their employees to succeed by basing a significant portion of their compensation on the success of the firm; creating a flexible and supportive work environment; and supplying the tools necessary for employees to excel at their jobs, create great employees, who in turn create great businesses,” she writes.

I’m not suggesting you set up a recruiting booth at the Occupy Wall Street festivities; it all starts with finding the right employees, and advisors are the first to relate the frustration of expending resources in time and money to only have their junior employees jump ship. But resources are available to help you take advantage—yes, advantage—of high unemployment and overall worker discontent. Herbers, in this month’s cover story and in her regular blogs on AdvisorOne.com, is a great place to start.

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