TD Ameritrade Institutional became the first custodian to create a full-time executive position dedicated to the sustainability of independent registered investment advisors when it named Kate Healy as Managing Director of Generation Next.
“We know that RIAs are really having a problem with this whole next generation succession planning,” Healy told ThinkAdvisor. Adding that, “it was really important that we dedicate an entire role to just really making sure that we are giving advisors what they need and that we are making sure that they understand how important this is.”
Healy has her work cut out for her.
The RIA industry is facing a significant talent shortage: roughly 110,000 advisors are expected to retire over the next 10 years, a flood of departures offset by only a trickle of new talent. Overall, personal financial advisor jobs are expected to increase 30% by 2024, more than four times the average growth rate for all occupations.
And yet, Healy says there’s only a couple thousand students in financial planning programs.
“We’re not graduating big numbers,” she told ThinkAdvisor. “We’ve got a lot of work to do there to make the programs more visible.”
In her new role, Healy oversees TD Ameritrade Institutional’s industry-leading NextGen initiatives, including scholarships, grants, a career exchange and an internship network, all designed to help RIA firms bring younger and more diverse talent into the business.
Healy, who was formerly the head of Institutional Marketing, has long been an advocate for women and young professionals at TD Ameritrade, and she will continue to dedicate herself full-time to advocacy efforts around NextGen, women and diversity.
A critical focus for Healy in her new position is helping connect RIAs with college financial planning programs and building a pipeline for future talent. TD Ameritrade Institutional’s latest RIA survey finds that only one third of RIAs hire interns. And the survey also found that those that do have interns, the majority are finding them through local colleges or word-of-mouth – not through financial planning programs.
“There are two-thirds of advisors that still don’t hire an intern from a financial planning school,” Healy said. “And I will tell you that in the wirehouse world, they all hire interns.”