Slideshow Recruiters Outlook: The Best Next Moves for Advisors

  • April 02 2015, 4:14pm EDT
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Recruiters Outlook: The Best Next Moves for Advisors

The industry's top recruiters say a wave of advisor moves are on the horizon. Seven-year contracts will expire in the coming months and wealth managers will be sizing up their options. Click through our slideshow for the best insights and tips from top industry recruiters who work with advisors for the wirehouses and regional broker-dealers. For the full story, click here to view Recruiters Panel: What's Your Move?


"The wirehouses, the four of them left, will always have a place. Obviously, they are not going away. They almost all are owned by banks, but it's a dying part of the business. It's diminishing. The demographics, you can't fight them. It's there. The millennials will not be going to wirehouses. They will be going to RIAs. They will be going to robo-advisors, the new catchy phrase. You don't need to talk to a broker now. They have sophisticated programs that are much smarter than most brokers I have ever met."

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"Back in the '80s we had three times as many wirehouses. Now we have four. But also, all of a sudden, we have these "super regionals" emerging, and they are getting bigger and better. Their deals are competitive – extremely competitive."


"There is more demand than supply, while simultaneously the traditional channel is leaking advisors and that is a big leak. And that leak is going to the RIA and independent space. The reason why it's happening, why it feels so sudden (which it's not because it's been happening for years), is there is finally a real infrastructure. Firms are popping up, and existing firms are developing new platforms to cater to the segment of advisors that want to change. Change of platform, change of culture whatever that change may be."


"It's a perfect storm. You've got incentive packages being offered by the wirehouses at high watermarks. And those firms are willing to be as creative and aggressive as they have ever been for top advisors. You've got an ever-expanding landscape which makes it more likely that the advisors looking would be able to find his or her version of utopia."

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"I think that in a lot of ways this is a golden age for advisors. It's also a golden age for headhunters. For Advisors, it’s about reduced supply and increased demand. And the only people it's not a golden age for, are the people that are defending the status quo. There are more choices than ever for quality advisors."


"It's been all over the news, the advisor population is aging up and out, and there is nobody to walk in and replace it, so that is a big problem in the industry. And the way the compensation plans are being changed, they are squeezing out the lower-end advisors. So where is there a spot for them?"


"Deferred comp. They have to figure out a way to retain their brokers and their advisors. And they are going to be coming out with more and more programs that include deferred comp, more growth rewards and more long-term rewards. Retention packages are up very soon, and the deferred comp is the new retention package."

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"The wirehouses are going to push more and more deferred comp, golden handcuffs. The other thing they can do is give some sort of retention packages so folks can stay. I don't think that's going to happen. It's going to be a big issue if they do, because where do you cut it off and how do you do it? A lot of folks are raising that issue: "If I get a retention package, then I stay. Otherwise I am leaving."


"In a sense, the new retention program is there for you. Unfortunately, you are funding it yourself now through deferred comp. That's kind of what is going on. One thing I would like to add that is also fueling this fire that hasn't been brought up is the smaller firms. Financing through banks is now available to do deals. And that has allowed smaller players to play with the big boys, straight up. I think that financing probably has only been around for the last 36 months or so. But it's a couple of banks who are very aggressively going after RIA firms, the small independents, and helping them fund their bill."