“This is a business built by and for baby boomers, but that won’t last long.”
In his presentation to broker-dealer executives at the Financial Services Institute’s OneVoice conference in Washington, Mark Tibergien spoke those words midway through his speech, making explicit what was an underlying theme at the broker-dealer advocacy group’s annual conference.
In a conference that celebrated FSI’s “Decade of Success,” there was some looking back at where the independent broker-dealer business has come from, but there was much more focus on the future. Among the issues: where is the next generation of advisors to come from? Will IBDs’ business model allow for attracting and retaining younger advisors? Will regulatory and market pressures allow BD reps to serve younger clients who may not yet possess wealth? How can you build a business for future success when so many of your advisors and their clients are in or nearing — or should be planning — retirement?
Not new questions, and Tibergien for one has been warning the industry for years of a looming advisor shortage as the existing advisor force ages while boomers near or enter retirement. To be sure, some independent BDs have not only attempted to answer those questions for some time, with some succeeding in lowering the average age of their rep forces while others have embraced new forms of marketing communications to attract younger clients, such as social media.