I just had a chance to look at the new 2007 Moss Adams Compensation and Staffing Study of Advisory Firms for my next column (the November issue of Investment Advisor). As usual, within Moss Adams’s mountain of data there are myriad themes of interest and value to financial advisors. I wrote about the danger of large firms using their financial muscle to attract the brightest and the best young financial advisor candidates out of smaller firms who will have to bear the burden of training young advisors, only to lose them when they are most valuable. But I also see signs that higher compensation for young advisors is changing practice economics for all ensemble firms.
With employee advisor compensation on the rise–lead advisor pay is up 41% in the past two years–it looks like the industry is finally correcting an old inequity. For some time, I’ve suspected that the extraordinarily high profitability of some ensemble firms resulted from underpaying non-owner advisors.