Today's Viewpoint: A MarshBerry Publication

Developing Financial Advisors: Strategies for Attracting and Retaining Talent in Wealth Management Firms

In the wealth advisory space everyone’s talking about the challenges of recruiting advisors. But understanding how to grow, develop and retain talent by developing financial advisors may be even more critical.

People leave jobs for many reasons, but growth and development are at the top of the list. Investing in wealth management talent development services can improve performance and save you the cost of constantly needing to hire backfills for the advisors who left. While many firms are looking to hire this year, every firm has advisors they need to grow. What are you doing to grow and develop the advisors you already have?

Developing financial advisors can lead to numerous benefits, such as strengthening your company culture, driving organic growth, and improving job performance. The talent market is very competitive, so things like skill development and career advancement are keys to retaining good advisors. Here are four strategies to attracting and retaining talent in wealth management by focusing on development:

  1. Communicate expectations. A good development plan begins with clear expectations. Make sure your advisors understand the firm’s vision and values, in addition to their individual objectives. Layout the goals, core competencies, or contributions you expect from them in measurable terms. As part of this process, clarify the difference between expectations for junior and senior advisors. Document how the two levels are expected to perform to help your team better understand their role. Finally, share the ways they’ll be held accountable for poorer performance, recognized for outstanding efforts, or chosen for a promotion. This is also a good way to implement the next step: developing clear career paths.
  2. Develop clear career paths. A lack of career advancement opportunities is one of the top reasons people quit.1 Luckily, it’s fixable. As you bring in new talent, or have one-on-ones with current staff, outline a clear progression track for advancement. Clearly communicate compensation guidelines, explain their earnings potential, and convey typical timelines. If someone cannot see their future in the firm, they will go somewhere they can. 
  3. Provide opportunities to lead and grow. Even small opportunities to make decisions or lead initiatives helps employees feel empowered—and helps you determine who might be a good fit for leadership roles in the future. Start by creating an open dialogue. What tools do they need to develop their leadership skills? Would they be open to a mentor, customized learning programs, or external courses? What conferences or events appeal to them? Identifying and providing ongoing training will demonstrate your commitment to development and growth.
  4. Create a supportive environment. In the RIA space, client demographics are changing, but advisors’ demographics aren’t. Most wealth advisors are men with an average age of 55, while the client base is increasingly getting younger, with more female clients entering the fold. Financial advisors may need to learn new relationship building skills or strategies. Sources indicate a need for more females in the advice profession, but it can be a tough field for women to enter.2 You can support both male and female advisors with an environment that enables their best self. Some are obvious, like avoiding the gender pay gap and promoting equality, but what about the day-to-day experience? Are all voices heard and welcomed? Is your team given resources to build their skills for a new client base? There are multiple retention and talent attraction benefits to creating a welcoming, encouraging workplace.

Preparing Your Wealth Management Firm for the Future: A Focus on Developing Financial Advisors

Planning to transition equity, educating your staff on the next generation of clients, and diversifying your wealth management team are just a few items to tackle this year. The industry is on the brink of the largest wealth transfer this country has ever seen—baby boomers are predicted to leave more than $68 trillion to their children.3 And since the average age of advisors is 55 and older, the industry is set to lose a significant number of wealth management professionals to retirement.4 Prepare your team for the risks now.

Remember, recruitment is far more expensive than retention. Develop, educate, and nurture your advisors and they’ll become brand ambassadors for your company. Their positive experience just might inspire them to bring more advisors onto your team.

MarshBerry’s wealth advisory team can help with organic growth plans around talent strategy, advisor compensation review and strategic planning. If you think you are ready to start the conversation about your firm’s organic growth or talent retention and development, please email or call Kelly Mills, Director, at 214.814.4517. 


MarshBerry is your trusted advisor in the wealth industry.

MarshBerry is a leading sell side advisor in the financial services industry with specialty practices in insurance and wealth management. Our advisory and consulting practices support advisors throughout their business lifecycles and include sell-side advisory, perpetuation planning, equity and debt capital raises, business and strategic planning, valuations, and industry benchmarking. Learn more about MarshBerry’s Wealth Advisory services.

Investment banking services offered through MarshBerry Capital, LLC, Member FINRA and SIPC, and an affiliate of Marsh, Berry & Company, LLC, 28601 Chagrin Blvd, Suite 400, Woodmere, OH 44122 (440) 354-3230

Contact Kelly Mills
If you have questions about Today's ViewPoint, or would like to learn more about how MarshBerry can help your firm determine its path forward, please email or call Kelly Mills, Director, at 214.814.4517.

Sources:
1 https://www.betterup.com/blog/why-employees-leave
2 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-we-need-more-women-financial-planning-profession-sam-oakes
3 https://www.cnbc.com/2022/10/17/how-to-navigate-the-great-wealth-transfer-according-to-top-advisors.html
4 https://money.usnews.com/financial-advisors/articles/ramifications-of-aging-on-the-client-and-advisor

MarshBerry continues to be the #1 sell side advisor in the industry (as ranked by S&P Global). If you’re considering selling your firm, we are the best choice to help you through the complicated process. If you don’t hire MarshBerry, hire a reputable advisor that can help you navigate one of the most important business decisions you will ever make. You will be much better off having an advisor in your corner that knows the industry than trying to do this on your own.

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