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B-Ds Need To Keep Advisors Happy: Cerulli

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Broker-dealer firms that accommodate their advisors won’t have too much trouble retaining them, according to Cerulli Associates Inc.

“Advisors like the concept of independence until they realize the difference between being an employee and being an entrepreneur,” Scott Smith, senior analyst at Cerulli, Boston, stated.

The “breakaway broker” trend is overblown, according to a report from Cerulli. A wirehouse team with $1 billion under management leaving to start their own registered investment advisory firm is not typical, the firm concludes. Most advisors leaving wirehouses go to other wirehouses, and Cerulli finds this is true in other distribution channels as well.

An advisor’s decision to stay or leave is based on 2 main factors: compensation and support from the home office, observed Bing Waldert, a Cerulli director. “Ultimately, advisors are looking for an advisor-centric firm,” he said.

An advisor-centric broker-dealer is one that offers its advisors different ways to belong, either as an employee, RIA, or combination of the two while also providing them with a variety of nonproprietary products, according to Cerulli.

An advisor-focused B-D also takes a long-term view toward profits and is less affected by market turmoil, the report states.