In the face of intense market volatility, financial advisors are surprisingly upbeat about the future of their businesses and expect a lot of advisors to change companies. So says veteran executive recruiter Mark Elzweig, president of a boutique search firm with a nationwide reach, Mark Elzweig Co., in New York City.
“Despite tremendous gyrations in the market in the last few weeks, advisors are optimistic and remain confident that their franchises are very solid. They feel there are good long-term opportunities for investors, who need effective risk-management programs to protect them on the downside. I haven’t heard anyone say to us, ‘I want to leave the business and do something else’,” says Elzweig (left) in a telephone interview with AdvisorOne.
Indeed, the recruiter anticipates 2012 to be a year when many more wirehouse advisors will change firms–a big contrast to 2010 and 2011.
“Once the market crashed in 2009,” Elzweig says, “there was so much movement. In 2010 most major wirehouse advisors–whose production was $500,000 or better–[took] retention bonuses and decided to give their new firms and management a chance.
“But as we soon go into 2012, more of the upfront portion of those bonuses have amortized,” he says. “So in the [new year] we’ll see a lot more broker movement. Once the environment is more normal, people who feel there’s a reason to make a change will do so. Even now, we’re [getting] busy.”