What will the industry look like 10 years from now? What it will take for advisors and broker-dealers to survive that long?

A panel of BD executives answered those questions during a discussion at the Financial Services Institute’s recent OneVoice conference in Washington.

Tony Batman, chairman and CEO of 1st Global, said that hybrid advisors (dually registered) were best suited to serve clients’ many needs. Amy Webber, president and COO of Cambridge Investment Research, agreed that the hybrid model was the “best” one.

Both Batman and Wayne Bloom, CEO of Commonwealth Financial Network, also agreed that those advisors who can master wealth decumulation—as accumulation becomes passé for retiring clients—will fare well. Advisors who can successfully move from the accumulation phase to the decumulation phase and “do this well and provide retirement income will generate assets,” Bloom said.

Added Batman: “Wealth decumulation is complicated, but our industry is the only one with the answers.”

While all three noted the importance of technology to firms’ survival, Bloom noted that advisors will also be dealing with a “different set of clients,” and that they will have to develop “new communication skills.”

Webber added that while clients will change, the makeup of firms will have to change as well. The “most successful” advisors will have “three generations” of advisors working there and also more women.

Batman pointedly noted the industry’s failure to go after the next generation of clients: “One in four of the top 1% of earners are under age 40,” he said, concluding that “they are income-rich and are totally neglected.”