October 8, 2012

Top 10 BDs Breakaway Advisors Want to Join

The leading firms have one characteristic that makes them similar, according to recruiter Chip Roame

Where do brokers, yearning to break free, most want go? Where do brokers, yearning to break free, most want go?

A significant number of advisors are looking for opportunities outside their current firm, and the bulk of them are setting their sights on two companies, according to a new report released by Cogent Research on Thursday.

In terms of who is looking to move, just over two in 10 (22%) of all advisors and nearly three in 10 (29%) working for a national wirehouse are open to the idea of moving to a new firm, the research found.

Chip Roame of Tiburon Strategic Advisors“The top three choices all offer multiple models of affiliation,” said Chip Roame (right), head of Tiburon Strategic Advisors, in an interview with AdvisorOne. “This is the big learning to me.”

The industry expert says he was also surprised by the number four choice, which historically has not been very popular with “successful, midcareer wirehouse reps.” (In fact, the fourth most popular choice also includes multiple channels.)

Cogent says it interviewed more than 380 advisors, out of a total advisor population of about 316,000 (a figure tracked by Cerulli Associates).

“In particular, the national wirehouse firms need to investigate the root causes of dissatisfaction among their current employees in order to retain top producers and prevent imminent defections," said Meredith Lloyd Rice, senior project director and co-author of the report, in a statement.

Of the 25 broker-dealers that the survey asked about, consideration scores ranged from a low 12% to a high of 43%, AdvisorOne selected the Top 10 firms in that scoring range in reverse order:

Eric Schwarz, CEO of Cambridge Research10. Lincoln Financial (LNC): 21%

Number of financial advisors: 8,000

9. Cambridge Investment Research: 21%

Number of financial advisors: 2,160

Merrill Lynch building in 2008. (Photo: AP)8. Merrill Lynch (BAC): 25%

Number of financial advisors: 17,500

7. UBS (UBS): 26%

Number of financial advisors (Americas): 7,000

Morgan Stanley headquarters in New York. (Photo:AP)6. Edward Jones: 26%

Number of financial advisors: 12,250

5. Morgan Stanley (MS): 28%

Number of financial advisors: 16,900

Customer at a Wells Fargo ATM. (Photo: AP)4. Ameriprise Financial (AMP): 30%

Number of financial advisors: 9,800

3. Wells Fargo Advisors (WFC): 36%

Number of financial advisors: 15,170*

(*excludes bankers)

Raymond James headquarters in St. Petersburg, Fla.2. Raymond James (RJF): 40%

Number of financial advisors: 6,000

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