One of the ways that wirehouses have been trying to make their brokers (and their brokers’ clients) more sticky is by pushing loans. Brokers are encouraged to get clients to borrow money. These loans have the effect of binding clients to firms for long periods, and correspondingly, it makes it harder for brokers to breakaway because clients are more likely to stay put. However, some RIAs are combatting the trend by offering to replace client loans during the transition period when brokers are joining their firms. Perhaps even more interestingly, custodians are getting into the game too, with Schwab announcing recently that they would be increasing lending products available to advisors to help them transition clients away from wirehouses. The loans provided often have lower interest rates than what the wires offer, so the success rate in migrating clients has been quite high.
FINSUM: The loan game has been the domain of the wirehouses for years, but with the big custodians getting involved, this is another important structure that will make breaking away easier.