When Investment Advisor Editor-in-Chief Jamie Green asked the IA Leaders Council, a dozen of the industry’s top advisors, about critical issues facing the advisory profession these days, one item they brought up was the need to nurture new advisors. These leaders felt they had a duty to provide career paths for professionals entering the industry for many reasons, including, they say, that it helps a firm build relationships with existing clients’ grown children who may in turn become clients; they are a source of potential partners or successors; and as additional professional hands to help a firm grow. (To listen to the podcast of the IA Leaders Council on finding, recruiting and nurturing talented young professionals, please go to IA Podcast: The Next Generation)

That’s why the results of the IA Poll for July were surprising. We asked: “Does your firm have career path and mentoring plans in place to help bring in and nurture new professionals? More than half of those who participated in the poll, 59% said “No.” Just over one-third, 34%, say “Yes,” they have plans in place and 7% say they are “Currently developing plans.” Does this mean that independent advisors are satisfied with the size of their business, never plan to retire, and feel they don’t need additional professionals, or are they simply so overwhelmed with the day-to-day tasks of advising clients and running their firms that they cannot take time to develop a strategy for bringing in-and developing-younger talent? Advisors who are in the majority here, the 59% without career paths for young advisors may want to think about those questions.

A New IA Poll is available on the front page of www.investmentadvisor.com and asks advisors: “When do you believe the Federal Reserve will stop hiking interest rates?” As always we encourage your participation

For more on recruiting and nurturing young advisors:

A Schwab Market Knowledge Industry Report, Best Management Practices of Independent Investment Advisory Firms: The Path to Profitable Growth says, “The largest and most successful Firms with decades of history carefully cultivate the next generation of leaders to ensure future success and avoid a stagnating business model.” For the full report please go here.

“Why Bigger is Better,” by IA columnist Bob Clark and Moss Adams consultant Philip Palaveev, is a discussion of the 2005 FPA Compensation and Staffing Study. Read it here.