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Are Firms Doing Enough to Retain Advisor Talent?

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New research shows a good portion of advisors are not satisfied with their current firms.

Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions released research examining advisor satisfaction and best practices for retaining advisor talent.

The research found that while six in 10 advisors are satisfied with their career, only four in 10 are satisfied with their current firms.

Fidelity’s research uncovered opportunities for firm leaders to increase engagement, particularly around helping advisors with their career development and growth.

“In this increasingly competitive talent market, it’s important that advisors have a strong sense of community and purpose at their firms, as well as clearly defined growth paths and meaningful roles that allow them to deliver real value to their clients,” said Charlie Phelan, vice president of practice management and consulting for Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions, in a statement.

Of the advisors surveyed in Fidelity’s research, only 55% indicated that someone at work had talked to them about their progress in the previous six months. Additionally, the survey found that only 51% said they understand what they need to do to get promoted to the next level.

According to Fidelity, these findings show there is an opportunity for leadership to better articulate advisor growth paths, support professional development and help individuals understand how their work contributes to the firm’s goals.

According to Phelan, the firms that are successfully retaining advisors are doing so by building engaged, connected teams, as well as offering things like digital tools that help advisors work more efficiently.

“Firm leaders that are successfully retaining advisors are focused on what I call the ‘ABCs of engagement,’” said Phelan. “They’re a) asking for opinions and feedback, so that advisors feel connected to the firm culture; b) building programs that help meet advisor needs and help them develop; and c) communicating clearly around everything, from the firm’s mission to what it takes to be successful there.”

The Fidelity research pointed to an association between engagement and satisfaction. Advisors working at firms with highly satisfied employees were more likely to agree that their firms take part in engaging practices.

On the other hand, more than one-third of advisors said that their firm did not live up to providing value that they promised initially.

According to Fidelity research, while basic needs of employees are being met, firms can improve satisfaction and provide more value in three ways.

One, encourage events that allow colleagues to become friends.

Two, identify ways to recognize employees for their work.

And, three, engage employees to discuss their progress and growth.

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