The wealth management Industry is obsessed with your behavior. And if you haven't found out already, it plays to play along.

On Wall Street's annual compensation issue finds a lot of the growth in pay has been due to behavioral bonuses, "where firms are trying to encourage certain behaviors such as lending or growth or fee-based businesses," compensation consultant Andy Tasnady tells Associate Editor Andrew Welsch.

Welsch writes in this month's cover story how firms are tinkering with their compensation plans to motivate their advisors to grow their businesses in new directions. For example, your firm may want you to recommend more bank products, increase lending or bring in more ultrahigh-net-worth clients.

If you're hitting the right benchmarks, you'll have that compensation coming sure enough. But be prepared to wait, since it will likely be deferred in some cases. And as firms reward certain behaviors among their advisors, they are discouraging others. More restrictive, small-household policies are intended to get advisors focused on larger accounts. But, as Welsch reports, some advisors find the policies shortsighted.

This year On Wall Street revised its analysis to better reflect the reality that more and more advisors are moving up the grids. We've dropped the $200,000 producer category and added a $2 million category, allowing the industry's biggest producers – and those nearing that benchmark – to see how they may fare at the different firms.

And as that pay is frequently tied up in the form of behavioral bonuses and deferred compensation, advisors wanting to know what they'll get paid next year will need to better understand their firm's long-term strategy.


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