Total compensation at advisory firms either remained steady or increased for the vast majority of firms throughout 2011 and 2012. Less than 1% of firms decreased compensation during that time period.
The findings are contained in The FA Insight Study of Advisory Firms: People and Pay Compensation Update for 2012, released Tuesday. The firm’s principals, Dan Inveen and Eliza DePardo, regularly contribute to Investment Advisor on their survey findings.
FA Insight, a consulting and research firm that focuses on advisors, defines total compensation as base pay and variable pay including commissions, bonuses, and performance-based incentives.
“These results suggest that compensation within the financial advisory industry is rising at rates significantly greater than the rate of increase for U.S. workers at large,” the study reports. “In the two-year period dating back to the close of 2010, the cumulative increases in compensation for advisory firms are anticipated to range from 6.1% to 10.3%.”
For comparison, Inveen and De Pardo point to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and note wages and salaries for all U.S. workers rose 1.7% in the most recent 12-month period ending in September of 2012 and cumulatively increased 3.3% during the last 24 months.
Focusing just on professional positions, “a slightly higher percentage of firms expected an annual increase in total compensation during 2012 (71%) than those that increased total compensation in 2011 (68%).”