On Wall Street’s top 10 Branch Managers are on a mission to replenish the advisor ranks and help them build bigger businesses.

Compared to previous years, this group showed more emphasis on bringing new advisors into the business, specifically by teaming up juniors and seniors in a more standardized format, as opposed to letting them do so on their own, says Bill Butterfield, an analyst with Aite Group, and one of our judges in this year’s ranking.

“The greater emphasis on building a repeatable structure to facilitate a greater success rate among new advisors is refreshing and long overdue,” he tells me.

“Let’s face it,” he adds, “the advisor force is graying, and if firms do not implement better methods to facilitate greater success among new advisors, such as well-thought-out partnerships with senior advisors, then there could potentially be a dearth of younger advisors filling the roles of recently retired advisors.”

Kenton Shirk, another judge, was impressed by branch managers working with advisors to generate income for clients in the current interest rate environment. “The top branch managers have worked with their advisor teams to identify potential risks, communicate those risks to clients, and position portfolios,” says Shirk, an associate director at Cerulli Associates.

More details emerge on how the top 10 deliver for advisors and their practices in our cover story by Associate Editor Andrew Welsch.

The leaders include a former soldier, another who served as a naval officer, and the son of Latin American immigrants who settled in the U.S. Branch managers also share how they were influenced by relatives, and have come to work with them. “Many people don’t get the chance to build friendships and relationships with their parents, but I’ve had the luxury of 20-plus years of being able to work side-by-side with my father,” says one of the top 10, Kevin Friedman of Wells Fargo Advisors.



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