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Overall recruiting activity slowed in 2016, dipping below the frenzied pace set in 2015.

Uncertainty around the fiduciary rule combined with smaller wirehouse deals helped drive activity lower last year, according to recruiters. In June, UBS announced its intention to cut recruiting by 40% this year, and shift resources to advisers currently at the wirehouse.

Another key difference: In 2015, there were two large acquisitions (Barclays and Credit Suisse's U.S. units) that drove hundreds of advisers to consider finding a new home. Only one such deal closed in 2016: Raymond James' acquisition of Deutsche Bank's U.S. Private Client Services unit. The regional firm retained over 90% of the advisers.

Will this year see a pick-up in recruiting activity? Movement between firms seems to be muted so far. But the pull to independence has stayed steady in recent years. Larger and larger teams are opting to strike out on their own. For example, HighTower helped two billion-dollar breakaway teams go independent in recent weeks.

Click through to see which firms have been leading the pack over the past year.

Data is based on announced hires at wirehouse, regional and other firms. It excludes independent to independent moves.


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