The coronavirus pandemic has increased how influential compensation and technology are in advisors’ decisions to move firms, Fidelity Investments reported Tuesday.
Four in 10 advisors in a survey agreed that industry-wide digital enhancements due to the pandemic had made it easier to switch firms.
At the same time, more than half said a key factor in their decision was concern about potential difficulties transferring accounts in a virtual environment.
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Nevertheless, many advisors have been successful transitioning firms in a fully remote environment, Fidelity said, noting that it has supported more than 140 transitions since March.
Fidelity said it has facilitated several moves by a new digital bulk advisor onboarding solution, and increased digital tools training for advisors. It has also expanded eSignature availability, resulting in a 190% increase in eSignature enrollment between March 1 and Oct. 1, and a fourfold increase in eSignature transactions.
“The pandemic may prove to be a catalyst for advisors considering a move as the remote environment has — for many advisors — emphasized the benefits of greater flexibility,” Charles Phelan, vice president of practice management and consulting for Fidelity Institutional, said in a statement.
“Firms will need to remain competitive on compensation, but this study shows that there’s significant opportunity for firms to sharpen their advisor technology story and continue to invest in new digital tools that help advisors more efficiently serve their clients.”