While the Internet is full of posts about the failed Pepsi commercial (and United Airlines’ aggressive “customer service”), considerably less attention is being given to Edward Jones’ new advertisement, which aims to help the firm recruit veteran financial advisors and others, like CPAs.
According to the firm, the print ads are designed to “shift misperceptions … by highlighting the firm’s position as an industry leader while educating industry professionals about … opportunities” with it.
Edward Jones, which employs a maximum of one advisor per office nationwide, is a “different animal” in terms of how its operates, according to recruiter Danny Sarch of Leitner Sarch Consultants. “The idea that they can successfully recruit advisors by putting an ad in the paper is laughable.”
The firm, which says the ad will appear in national business and industry publications this year, sees the ads as part of a broader strategy of going after experienced reps.
“We do not believe the ads on their own will change advisor behavior,” said Katherine Mauzy, principal of financial advisor talent acquisition for Edward Jones, in an interview. “It’s one of multiple levers pulling to get us to be top of mind …”
Pros & Cons
The firm has some headwinds working against it, recruiters point out.
“They are not on the radar screen for some advisors looking to depart” one firm and join another, “because they have not recruited” in the ways that most other firms do, Sarch explained. “They made a business decision to not to be in the so-called ‘recruiting wars.’ ”
By not giving advisors upfront signing bonuses, based on their 12-trailing-months fees and commissions, the firm puts itself at a disadvantage, recruiters say.
Edward Jones disagrees.
“We are finding out that advisors feel just the opposite about compensation,” Mauzy said. “The upfront bonuses [paid as] employee forgivable loans are like handcuffs vs. our transparent way of supporting advisor transitions.”
Instead, Edward Jones gives advisors an income guarantee during their first year with the firm. “This way, they do not have to worry about changes to their production, for instance, and it reduces risk or uncertainty tied to their income,” the executive explained.
The firm also has a new asset bonus based on the level of clients moving over, she adds. It might be between $900,000 to $1.25 million for an advisor moving $100 million or so of assets. “The award can be significant,” said Mauzy.