Displaying items by tag: recruiting
Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan is looking to increase the profitability of the bank’s wealth management unit. He wants to achieve this by increasing scale, hiring more advisors, promoting more cross-selling of products, and investing in technology.
In Q4, Bank of America had a net gain of 175 brokers with most of the growth coming from graduates of its training program. It ended the year with 18,916 advisors across all units which was a 2% decline from the end of 2023. The bank has also sought to stem the tide of defections over the past few years by upping compensation to match its competitors.
Moynihan wants to expand headcount and increase the bank’s presence in underserved markets. A key aspect of this is its revamped broker training which was integrated with Merril in 2021 and has increased retention rates of new advisors.
Another element of the growth plan is to increase use of Bank of America financial products across its ecosystem. This means getting wealth management clients to use Bank of America financial products such as home loans or bank accounts, or private banking customers should be using Merrill for wealth management rather than an outside firm. He sees this as an opportunity to increase sales with minimal expense compared to other channels.
Finsum: Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan was positive on the wealth management unit’s performance. He sees future growth coming from adding advisors, investing in technology, and increasing cross-selling of products.
LPL Financial was higher following its Q4 earnings report which showed the company exceeding analysts’ consensus forecast. For the quarter, it generated $3.51 per share in earnings which topped estimates of $3.39 per share. Total revenue was up 13% to reach $2.6 billion, while advisor revenue was up 20%. It also added 256 net new advisors and now has a total of 22,660 advisors.
The results were strong across the board as it saw a 22% increase in total advisory and brokerage assets, reaching $1.35 trillion. Further, it brought in $25 billion in new assets in the fourth quarter, highlighting the firm’s success in growth via acquisitions and recruitment. Another source of growth has been enterprise, where LPL manages a wealth management platform for banks, credit unions, and other institutions. Recently, it was announced that LPL would become the brokerage and wealth management platform for Prudential Financial which counts $50 billion in assets and 2,600 financial advisors.
The firm is also looking to expand with the launch of LPL Private Wealth Management which intends to hire advisors as employees rather than as independent contractors. It believes its multi-channel approach is a differentiator and key to its success as it means the firm can appeal to all types of advisors.
Finsum: LPL reported strong Q4 and full-year earnings which exceeded analysts’ estimates and sent the stock higher.
The number of new advisors is not keeping up with retirements and attrition. According to Cerulli, the number of new advisors only increased by 2,706 in the previous years. This is troubling given that the firm projects that nearly 110,000 advisors will be retiring over the next decade.
This amounts to nearly 38% of all advisors and 41% of total assets. These numbers and trends highlight the need for the industry to do a better job of attracting and retaining fresh talent. The crux of the issue seems to not be recruitment but that there is a 72% rookie failure rate. Some recommendations are growing and nurturing a talent pipeline, better communication of the role and responsibilities of a financial advisor, and a more structured training program which entails ramping up responsibilities.
Ideally, newer advisors would start in roles focused on operations and improving the practice before shifting into a producer role. Cerulli recommends that seniors advisors’ team with new advisors and provide them with experience in engaging with clients and gathering assets before they transition to more independent roles. It notes that many advisors who build successful, long-term careers were the recipients of such mentorship and guidance at the start of their careers.
Finsum: 2023 was another year of poor recruitment figures for the financial advisor’s industry. Here are some recommendations on improving the success rate of new advisors.
According to a study from Cerulli Associates, independent and hybrid RIAs are seeing the most growth in advisor headcount compared to other channels. This same trend is evident across larger time frames as well and an indication that independence is an enticement for advisors.
Over the last decade, the number of independent RIAs has grown by a 2.4% annual rate, while the number of advisors working at independent RIAs has increased by an annual rate of 5.2%. Over the next 5 years, total advisor headcount is projected to remain flat, but independent and hybrid RIAs are forecast to see more gains in advisor headcount. And independent and hybrid firms are projected to control 31% of intermediary market share by 2027.
Some of the reasons that independent and hybrid RIAs may appeal to advisors are more flexibility and higher payout percentages. In contrast, the more established firms offer the leverage of corporate scale in addition to access to technology, training, and resources.
A survey by Fidelity of advisors in October had similar findings. Over the past 5 years, 1 out of 6 advisors had switched firms. Independent RIAs were the top destination. 94% of advisors who switched firms were happy with the decision, and 80% reported growth in assets under management.
Finsum: Independent and hybrid RIAs are seeing continued growth in terms of advisor headcount at a time when total growth in headcount for the industry is flat.
At the onset of their careers, most financial advisors have big aspirations. Yet, many fail to realize their ambitions and plateau at certain levels. At each level, there are common obstacles that need to be overcome.
The first phase is the hustle phase, when a lot of energy is expended to start building the business. During this phase, key steps to take are to invest in yourself by embracing discomfort and stretching beyond yourself to grow, build a capable team, get in the habit of giving out value without any expectations, find like-minded and supportive individuals to surround yourself on the journey, and embrace acting fast. Technology can also be leveraged to level the playing field.
The next phase is the surrender phase. During this, the major focus is on building a team and transitioning from being a solo operator. At some point, this becomes necessary in order to achieve more growth. It will require adopting a CEO mindset, focusing on key tasks while delegating others, and developing scalable systems.
The final phase is the harmony phase. This is when you can step back with minimal interruption to the business. During this phase, the major focus is on aligning personal and professional goals, finding new avenues of growth by leveraging your team, investing in sustainability, instilling a culture, and embracing the flow.
Finsum: Financial advisors go through phases during their careers that require different strategies and ways of thinking.