Despite continuing market uncertainty, 86% of brokers and advisors polled at Fidelity Investments’ executive forum in April said they are focused on firm growth this year and have stopped cutting costs.
In contrast, 63% of respondents in 2009 said they aimed to accelerate firm growth and profitability through building new and existing client relationships as well as adding registered investment advisors (RIAs) and brokers.
“After 18 months of cutting costs, broker-dealers and RIAs have clearly shifted their attention to accelerating growth through acquisition,” said Michael R. Durbin, president of Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services. “Not only are firms aggressively recruiting top producing brokers and advisors, but they are focused on actively wooing affluent investors away from the large wirehouse firms.”
Lingering market uncertainty remains, however. Despite their confidence about growth potential, 64% of RIAs and broker-dealers polled did not expect the S&P 500 to recover fully to its October 2007 high of 1,576 until after 2012, while the remaining 36% anticipated it happening before the end of 2012.