Four recruiting trends for 2014

The skinny on recruiting bonuses, the rise of super RIAs, and more

By Tom Daley

Dec 19, 2013 @ 12:01 am (Updated 3:32 pm) EST

As we close the books on 2013, most firms have long since set their recruiting goals for 2014. In the process, many have asked where our team saw transitioning advisers moving in 2014.

After talking to advisers from around the country, working across all financial services channels, our team is predicting four clear recruiting trends in 2014.

1. Advisers are choosing to join existing branch offices or tucking into RIAs and hybrids.

We are seeing financial advisers with 10 or more years experience preferring to align with an entity to expand their offering and maintain a level of independence rather than creating a solo practice. Advisers are attracted to the existing infrastructure and support as well as the prospect of an easier transition. Plus, advisers don't have to invest the start-up capital required for solo practices.

2. Branches, RIAs and hybrids will continue to grow in the era of superensembles.

It goes to follow that if advisers are flocking to existing opportunities, superensembles will continue thrive. Today, there are more choices for advisers than ever. Many branches, RIAs and hybrids have profiles and offerings that can compete head-to-head with larger firms.

3. Advisers continue to focus more on the long-term value of the transition package and offering rather than on the short-term lure of upfront money.

While upfront money is still an important part of the transition assistance, advisers are focusing more on the overall value of the offering (service, compliance, marketing and technology). In the past, the majority of discussions were about payouts and upfront money. Today, we see advisers looking for firms positioned to help them build their businesses and the ability to serve their clients better.

4. Advisers who want to switch firms are placing a high priority on staying with their current clearing firm and/or custodian.

This makes sense on a variety of levels. First, it makes transitioning the business that much easier. In addition, more and more advisers are relying on their clearing firms and custodians for operational support, practice management, investment solutions and technology enhancements, as well as asset management.

Regardless of the trends, changing firms is a personal, individual choice and should be treated as such.

Our advice: Firms should address an adviser's personal goals and objectives. Advisers should take their time to gather due diligence and vet all offers.

Tom Daley, is the founder and chief executive of The Advisor Center, a comprehensive online community where financial advisers can objectively — and anonymously — research broker-dealers, RIA custodians, RIAs and branches when considering a transition.

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