Wells Fargo Advisors’ (WFC) independent channel has been on a tear. WFA Financial Network, known as FiNet, added 99 advisors in 2014.
“It was a very successful year, with record revenue and earnings, and another solid year for recruiting,” said FiNet President Kent Christian in an interview with ThinkAdvisor.
The group includes 1,250 independent FAs. Assets under management stand at $85 billion, up 17% from a year earlier. Plus, the average level of yearly fees and commissions of indie advisors coming on board is $650,000 to $700,000.
“What makes us stand apart in the independent space is the high caliber of advisors that affiliate with us, which is among the highest in the industry,” Christian explained.
“This is purposeful. We are a great place to come and grow, more than any other independent firm on the Street,” he added. “Coupled with our strong brand, we get above-average advisors looking at us and affiliating with us.”
FiNet was the fastest-growing channel within WFA, with its growth pace topping those of the traditional employee-advisor group and the bank channel. “And that’s been the case for several years,” according to Christian.
In 2015, advisor interest is up from last year, he says.
“We are seeing a meaningful increase in interest, not just in the number of advisors kicking the tires — but in the profile of advisors coming to talk to us,” the executive explained. “We are talking with larger producers than we’ve ever seen historically and with more teams than ever before. It’s very exciting.”
“The parent company loves our growth story,” the FiNet president said. “In addition, when it comes to the wealth management business, [Wells Fargo Chairman & CEO] John Stumpf has gone on the record saying that as things change in the financial world and on the regulatory front, he is looking where Wells Fargo has the best chance to grow and thrive,” he said.