Offering a strong succession planning program can be a good way to attract financial professionals.

Marketing experts at John Hancock Financial Network, Boston, a unit of Manulife Financial Corp., Toronto, have published that finding in a summary of results from a survey of 500 advisors.

About 66% of the advisors said getting access to a strong succession program would be a factor to consider in switching companies, and 20% said it would be a major factor.

About 64% of the advisors said succession planning is a concern. About half are expecting to sell their businesses, but two-thirds are not planning to retire for at least 10 years.

Only 31% of the advisors have actively worked on a succession plan, and 35% admitted they had not yet started thinking seriously about the topic.

Only 34% said anyone had offered to help them with financing a transition.

What else do the advisors surveyed want help with?

- Financing the transition, 67%.

- Obtaining a valuation for fee-based business, 65%.

- Obtaining a valuation for insurance business, 65%.

- Finding a successor, 58%.