This Week’s Issue: The Significant and Ongoing Transformation of Financial Advisor Recruiting, Transitions and Onboarding, Spurred by the Pandemic and Technology Adoption
To my fellow WSR community members:
Hope you all had a terrific Holiday Weekend! If you’re anything like me, you’re accustomed to everybody snapping back to their work stations and going all out with work shortly after Labor Day.
But this year, it feels different, largely because it doesn’t seem as if the traditional points of demarcation that separate the seasons from one another and down time from work days have existed for the past 17 + months.
I’m talking, of course, about the pandemic’s impact on work across the wealth management space. Instead of time spent commuting, we’ve gone straight to our desks in the morning. Rather than long lunches or work dinners, we’ve grabbed a hurried meal and gone back to our desks.
The result? The passage of time this year – and for that matter, much of last year – simply feels irrelevant.
And while things were starting to look up through much of this summer, with travel and in-person meetings starting to normalize, the latest delta variant surge of the COVID virus throughout much of the country is raising uncertainty about “back to work” traditional office plans and meetings once more.
But astonishingly, the pandemic-driven disruption hasn’t halted financial advisor recruiting. If anything, the combination of the pandemic and remote collaboration technologies finally reaching a sufficiently advanced state has driven a wholesale transformation of recruiting.
For anybody accustomed to the traditional financial advisor recruiting, transitions and onboarding process – characterized by paperwork-heavy, in-person-reliant meetings – the digitization and other trends that are transforming FA recruiting are, quite simply, mind blowing.
In this issue, we are proud to offer a collection of articles that each seek to interpret, analyze and contextualize the multiple forces that are reshaping the recruiting landscape, including:
- Our Digital Domain section’s feature story by WSR Senior Editor Janeesa Hollingshead (Surprise! Tech-Enabled FA Recruiting Beats Expectations) explores the intensified digitization of financial advisor recruiting since March 2020. In particular, Janeesa details how this trend is starting to level the recruiting playing field between large firms and their smaller competitors, as well as the technology solutions and strategies that are transforming how firms and advisors think about and execute on the recruiting and transitions process.
- Accompanying our Digital Domain feature story is this week’s Words in Edgewise WSR Reader Survey (“WSR Recruiting Survey: Keep Digitizing Recruiting!”), which covers shifting industry attitudes about digital recruiting versus traditional, in-person recruiting approaches. Michael Madden, Contributing Editor, presents both the numbers as well as the WSR team’s analysis on what these numbers could mean for the broader industry.
- The first of our two Upmarket features for this week is our inaugural Recruiting Roundtable (“An Uptick in Year-End Recruiting? LPL, Cetera, Commonwealth Discuss”), moderated on a recurring basis by Jeff Nash, CEO of BridgeMark Strategies. Each month, Jeff Nash will assemble two to three in-house senior recruiting or business development leaders across the wealth management space to get their perspectives and analysis on one top-of-mind recruiting issue.
- For this month’s Recruiting Roundtable, we hear from business development leaders across LPL Financial, Cetera Financial Group and Commonwealth about whether there will be an uptick in year-end financial advisor recruiting as we enter the final months of 2021…and what their respective plans are to capture more market share.
- Our second of two Upmarket features for this week’s issue is a Q&A profile of Kevin Beard, Chief Growth Officer & Founding Partner at Atria Wealth Solutions, the Lee Equity Partners-backed network of independent wealth management firms (“Atria’s Kevin Beard on Optimizing Advisor Recruiting”). Going from being a “de novo” platform with zero in client assets and zero advisors to $100 billion in AUA and 2,500 financial advisors in just four years is a remarkable feat, and it’s exactly what Kevin and his partners, Doug Ketterer and Eugene Elias, Jr. have accomplished, through savvy dealmaking and aggressive recruiting.
One final note that is worth celebrating for WSR, and for which we’d like to thank you, our supporters across the WSR community: Our readership and engagement numbers across our flagship website as well as our social media channels actually increased for our last issue, which appeared in the final week of August, just before the Labor Day weekend.
This is traditionally a time when most media outlets face a reduction in readership and engagement.
And it shows that our vision of creating a wealth management industry media platform that is totally focused on actionable insights, analysis and commentary – by industry leaders, for industry participants – is continuing to resonate with firms, advisors and third-party solutions providers.
Thank you for your continued support. And as always, we encourage you to share articles that you find especially enjoyable and insightful with your colleagues, industry friends and other contacts.
Larry Roth, CEO
Wealth Solutions Report