The first six months of the year was relatively slow as so many advisors had moved last year and because of retention packages keeping advisors in place.
But in the last 60 days, we’re finding that despite retention packages, many advisors are very willing to explore their options and consider leaving.
What recruiting packages looking like right now, and how is that influencing movement?
There is a range of about 330 to 350 percent of trailing 12-month fees and commissions, or production, after firms pulled back at the end of ’09 and early ‘10. That led to attrition and less recruiting, since the deals weren’t high enough. So the wirehouses raised them back to last year’s levels.
As advisors weigh the ease of staying and their retention packages vs. their desire to serve clients the best they can, some are thinking about leaving. There is a lot of bureaucracy and other changes at the mega-firms, and that can also give them reasons to consider moving.
How are advisors generally feeling about the wirehouses?
So much of what advisors are considering is life beyond the wirehouses. Yes, they will look at all the wirehouses, because the deals are so large.
But they also could go to a boutique firm, like Credit Suisse, or go independent, since they may feel that the wirehouse model is broken —or they may feel that by changing firms or models they will be doing the right thing for their clients; this includes going to a regional firm.
Thus, advisors at the wirehouses and elsewhere are seriously considering a range of different options.
What’s your view of the “heyday of breakaway brokers”? Are less going to move out of the wirehouses than in 2009 or more?
First, the regulatory environment continues to change, and we are expecting a lot of changes to impact the wirehouse model. As the world moves to a single fiduciary standard, the number of breakaway brokers should increase.
And this goes beyond the regulatory changes, as advisors feels that things are too big and bureaucratic at one firm, as well as at others, independence looks more appealing. And that trend is going to increase, as well.
But there is another trend, as some advisors who went independent to get away from the bureaucracy and become business owners find that they are not growing as much as they want to due to the minutia of running a practice. So, the notion of going back the other way is emerging —though, of course, it’s not as significant as the other trend I described.
How would you describe advisors’ priorities today?
Quality advisor are asking how they can to best service their clients, and that is great news for investors. So they are chasing the opportunities that involves the least limitations and that make them the least hamstrung when it comes to growing their business or optimally servicing clients —in terms of the access they have to products and services, and the ease they have with compliance and utilizing high-net-worth services).
Limitations in any capacity are now seen as the death nil for advisors, and that’s how advisors are weighing their pros and cons
Is it easier to stay put with good money or is it better to go where the limitations will be lifted with greater efficiency and productivity? That is what advisors are giving the most consideration to.