Today’s most prosperous advisors are largely independent and work in ensemble practices and within larger agency settings, according to a study conducted by the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) in conjunction with LIMRA.
The survey was conducted among 400 U.S. members of MDRT, representing a variety of ages, backgrounds and work settings. It analyzed the experience, work environment and client base of respondents, determining success by two measurements – productivity and profitability – with three prominent traits overlapping among respondents that fell within the highest quartile.
Among the most profitable respondents, 40 percent are independents as compared to brokers, PPGAs, exclusives or affiliates, and 43 percent of the most productive operate independently as well. Ensemble practices are another key attribute, as 57 percent of the most profitable and 60 percent of the most productive advisors work in such an environment. Large agency size also plays a role with 60 percent of the most profitable and 82 percent of the most productive respondents being supported by staff.
In addition to identifying key qualities of today’s leading advisors, the study also determined what challenges they are anticipating in the upcoming three to five years. Industry regulations ranks as the most pressing challenge, with 97 percent of respondents noting some level of concern, followed by improving efficiency with 92 percent and enhancing client base with 88 percent.