Wealth managers could save millions in costs from a snappier recruitment process. An analyst lays out the 3 firms that could benefit most.

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Elements of virtual financial adviser recruiting will stay with the industry post-pandemic as wealth management firms have adapted during remote work, industry insiders say. 
Firms like Raymond James and Stifel Nicolaus, which have been building out this infrastructure already, will benefit most from a snappier recruitment process, according to JMP Securities analyst Devin Ryan.
“All of this is going to be much easier to move advisers, clients; all of this happening together is going to support a whole lot more movement,” one veteran adviser recruiter said. 

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Wealth management industry observers closely watch financial advisers’ moves, whether that means leaving a legacy firm and setting up their own practice for a taste of independence, or jumping from wirehouse to wirehouse. 

The coronavirus pandemic has ushered in a sea change to that landscape. Technology is transforming the adviser recruitment process, according to industry insiders who view the move to remote work as lighting a fire under a shift already in motion. 

A quicker process for interviewing and taking on new advisers could mean savings for firms, more movement within the industry, and growth within an industry that’s reported an overall adviser headcount decline in recent years.

“We think the ‘work from home’ environment that is accelerating technology themes across the economy could also permanently change some elements of the financial adviser recruiting experience — and even accelerate recruiting for the leading firms,” Devin Ryan, an analyst with JMP Securities, wrote in a recent note to clients. 

Before the pandemic spurred social-distancing measures, firms arranging for advisers to visit a home office during the recruitment process and setting up events around that visit “utilized substantial firm resources,” and could add up to millions in expenses for large firms, Ryan said. 

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Read more: The CEO of a $192 billion wealth firm lays out his post-pandemic roadmap, from doubling down on digital to hiring more planners

Now that the reality of an adviser meeting with a new firm and getting up to speed on adviser technology can all be replicated virtually, the industry could see more movement between firms, said Michele Mandeville, the founder and president of PRISM Wealth Management Recruiting. 

“All of this is going to be much easier to move advisers, clients; all of this happening together is going to support a whole lot more movement,” Mandeville said in late May during a virtual panel on the recruitment landscape held by the website AdvisorHub. 

“I think we’ve all been forced at gunpoint here to embrace technology, if we were people who loved it — or not. If the clients weren’t having the same experience, this would be more of a hiccup,” Mandeville, who is based in Florida, said.

Leading wealth management firms have adapted their processes as they’ve been forced into remote work situations, Ryan wrote.

A late-May survey from FlexShares, the exchange-traded-fund provider owned by Northern Trust Asset Management, showed 52% of advisers expect to update their work-from-home policies to allow for more flexibility after health concerns subside.

Firms already the main beneficiaries …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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