Financial advisor sentiment regarding their firms has stabilized in 2010 following a steep drop from 2007 to 2008, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. Financial Advisor Satisfaction Study released Friday.
The study measures the satisfaction of both advisors employed by investment services firms and independent advisors, who are affiliated with a broker-dealer but operate independently. It examines eight key drivers of employee advisor satisfaction: firm performance, compensation, work environment, products/offerings, technology, job duties, contact and people.
The study also examines the key drivers of satisfaction among independent advisors: firm performance, people, technology, compensation, contact; job duties, products for clients and offerings for advisor.
The J.D. Power study finds that advisor perceptions of their firm’s financial stability have improved, most notably among independent advisors and employees of wirehouse firms (including Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, UBS Financial Services and Wells Fargo Advisors). Perceptions of financial stability of wirehouses have improved to 5.4 (on a 7-point scale) in 2010 from 4.6 in 2008. Though advisors’ perceptions of the financial stability of independent firms have improved to 6.3 in 2010 from 6.0 in 2008, they still trail those of advisors of non-wirehouse firms (6.5 in 2010).
The top three firms for overall satisfaction among employee advisors:
- Edward Jones ranks highest with a score of 876 on a 1,000-point scale, and performs particularly well in the work environment and job duties factors.
- Raymond James and Associates follows with a score of 857, and performs particularly well in compensation and perceptions of firm performance.
- Merrill Lynch ranks third in the segment with 710 points, and performs well in the technology and products/offerings provided to its advisors.
The top three firms for overall satisfaction among independent broker-dealer advisors:
Commonwealth Financial Network, which is led by Chairman Joe Deitch (left), with a score of 898. It performs particularly well in perceptions of financial stability and operational and compliance support.