Time Flies When You’re Having Fun (or Successfully Recruiting Advisors)!

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun (or Successfully Recruiting Advisors)!


Advisor Recruiting

By: Charlie Latimer, Director of National Recruiting
Published January 11, 2017

What a year it was for recruiting. In 2016, Private Advisor Group recruited 74 new advisors, bringing our total to 617 across 34 states. This has more or less been our run rate for the past five years. And looking to 2017, our pipeline is overflowing with candidates. While these figures are impressive, we measure success one advisor at a time. This means we focus on the advisor experience, ensuring that it is a professional and personal one.

Where else in our industry is this momentum replicated? Please send me a note or call me directly if you are able to provide any direction on this subject. It has truly been a question on my mind.

The PAG Value Proposition Continues to Drive Recruiting Success

To recap the year and the themes that led to our success, I draw your attention to the fact that we recruited from many diverse broker-dealers – about 30 in total (please see the list at the bottom of this blog). In addition, we helped OSJs divest themselves from managing compliance. We recruited RIA firms for the same reason, as well as small BDs who had the epiphany that their model is not equipped to handle the regulatory future. It’s a long list, and these are only from 2016! The list is much longer if you include prior years and essentially represents every financial service delivery channel available for advisors (wirehouse, IBD, Insurance BD, RIA, Bank BD, etc.).

As to the main themes to which we attribute our recruiting success, it all comes down to our value proposition and who we are as people (i.e., the human element). Here were the key drivers in 2016:

  1. Maximizing economics: Increased profitability to the advisor attributed to the elimination of platform admin fees (which can be as high as 10% of revenue, or even greater), higher payouts and upfront transition assistance packages.
  2. Maximizing independence: Similar to a standalone RIA without the burden of managing compliance, along with a fully open architecture investment platform and sophisticated portfolio management capabilities.
  3. Superior transition support services: Each advisor is assigned a dedicated transition expert and leverages our proprietary, automated client data management system, FastTrack. Our experience, efficiency and competency in transitioning practices to LPL Financial is unparalleled in the industry. In other words, we make it easy for you to enjoy #1 & #2 above!
  4. Culture: We are a sincerely nice, professional group of people who look out for the best interests of our advisors and are easy to work with.

It’s Not Pure Economics – Advisors Are Also Looking for Intangibles

There’s competition in practically every recruiting conversation we have, and we don’t win ’em all, but we’re close! We actually enjoy the healthy competition. It enables us to contrast our value proposition with other firms and strengthens our model in the minds of advisors. Clearly, for many advisors it’s all about the money – or at least that’s the first box that gets checked – which is understandable. We are all entrepreneurs in our own right. As for the boxes that follow as you get further down the list, many are intangible, relationship-based and relate to the human element. Advisors will have moments of self-reflection throughout the courting process and often follow their gut, if you will. The questions that go through their minds include the following (in many cases, these may precede economics!):

  • Do I see myself working with these folks over the long term?
  • Do I trust them, and are they transparent?
  • Do they have my best interests at heart?
  • Are they going to be easy to work with?
  • Most importantly, do I like them?

In closing, 2016 flew by. It was a great year for many reasons in addition to our recruiting successes. Operationally, we achieved and exceeded many goals and further strengthened our value proposition. We continue to have new things to talk about that our competition cannot match. At the end of the day, we’re just a nice bunch of folks doing the right thing. Best wishes for the new year!

2016 Broker-Dealer Recruitment List
  • Ameriprise
  • Raymond James
  • Morgan Stanley
  • UBS Financial Services
  • Cetera
  • Wells Fargo Advisors
  • RBC Capital Markets
  • Fifth Third Securities
  • Sterne Agee Financial Services
  • Waddell & Reed
  • BB&T Investment Services
  • M&T Securities
  • Janney Montgomery Scott
  • National Planning Corp
  • Mass Mutual (MML Investor Services)
  • MetLife Securities
  • Ameritas Investment Corp
  • Kestra Advisory Services
  • Money Concepts Capital Corp
  • Westport Resources
  • Vanguard
  • PNC
  • VSR Financial Services
  • MSI Financial Services
  • Chase Investment Services
  • VALIC Financial Advisors
  • Fortune Financial Services