Commonwealth Expands Initiative Connecting Advisors With CFP Program Students

James Miller, Contributing Editor & Research Analyst, Wealth Solutions Report

Firm Partners With Universities Offering CFP Programs To Foster Connections Between Its Advisors And Next Gen Talent

Commonwealth Financial Network announced the expansion of its Talent Exchange Initiative, which connects its affiliated advisors with students participating in CFP programs at select partner universities.

Building upon last year’s successful pilot program with Bentley University, the Commonwealth program now also includes Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech, the University of Akron, Temple University, Bryant University, Delaware State University and Utah Valley University.

Designed To Reach The Next Gen

David Israel, VP, Field Outreach, Commonwealth Financial Network

A recent Cerulli Associates  study sponsored by Commonwealth indicated that 37% of financial advisors are expected to retire in the next decade. These advisors control $10.4 trillion – or 40% – of industry assets.David Israel, VP, Field Outreach at Commonwealth, said, “With a sharp focus on eliminating barriers in the student-to-advisor pipeline, we developed the Talent Exchange Initiative to build strategic partnerships with higher-learning institutions and connect students and alumni with our advisors.”

As part of the Talent Exchange Initiative, Commonwealth has committed to: an increased presence on the campuses of partner schools, with attendance at recruiting events and job fairs; creating a curated directory of Next Gen talent for the firm’s advisors to connect with candidates directly; an invitation for universities and students to join the firm’s national conference; and an internal development track for students who accept work with its advisors.

Expansion Plans

Israel says that Commonwealth plans to expand the program and continually looks to build new partnerships. “Our first push for expansion has been focused on connecting with Commonwealth advisors in the field who are particularly passionate about their alma maters. It’s exciting to be connected to the professionals and institutions who helped lay the foundation of who our advisors are today. Further, we want to make it easier for students at those places to find opportunities in the industry.”

“Programs like the Talent Exchange Initiative make avenues to valuable experiences and opportunities within a student’s own community more accessible,” he continued. “As we lower the degree of difficulty in finding opportunities, more time and energy can be spent on actual talent development.”

Connecting With Advisors

According to Israel, universities that offer CFP programs set a high standard for applicant quality. In addition, 43.2% of the firm’s advisors hold a CFP designation, which helps build connections. “As a large percentage of advisors have the CFP designation, their familiarity with the necessary requirements encourages early connections, common ground, and trust with candidates.”

He notes that advisor interest and response have been positive. “Whether it is emphatic endorsements of their alma maters, requests for information on candidates, or to begin the search for a several years out succession partner, we have seen demonstrated excitement and enthusiasm for having another tool in their toolbox.”

Commonwealth partners with over 2,100 independent advisors overseeing more than $242.9 billion in assets, as of Dec. 31, 2022.

James Miller, Contributing Editor and Research Analyst at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at

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