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New mobile app and website target secretive world of adviser recruiting

Jan 21, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

By Joyce Hanson

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AdvisorHub, a new mobile application and website, was launched Tuesday with the goal of bringing more transparency to the secretive world of financial adviser recruitment.

Launched by wealth management recruiter Andrew Parish with the help of strategic consultant Randy Beeman, a semi-retired adviser from The Wise Investor Group, AdvisorHub proposes to publish extensive details of every major recruiting deal “percentage point by percentage point,” according to Mr. Parish.

“For decades, recruiting deals have happened in the shadows,” he said. “I'm going to bring 30 of the biggest deals to the market on a mobile app and a website. Instead of an adviser talking to me or taking a meeting across town or wearing a disguise to talk to a competitor, they can see it online.”

Mr. Beeman pointed to a recent Cerulli Associates Inc. study which found that 43% of advisers are now over the age of 55 and either at or approaching retirement, and the average age of advisers is 50.9. Advisers who are nearing retirement are actively seeking to be recruited to a new firm that will offer them a big payout along with a succession plan, Mr. Beeman said.

“If you're an individual financial adviser and you only have an administrative team, you have to move to a larger firm for a succession plan and to monetize your business,” he said.

The one-time cost for the mobile app, available on iTunes and Google Play, is $9.99. The website costs a subscription fee of $9.99 per month, because in addition to the bonuses that appear on the app, it also offers compensation grids for all companies listed.

Carri Degenhardt-Burke, president of recruiting firm Degenhardt Consulting, will provide written commentary for the website.

AdvisorHub's information is gathered three ways: from Mr. Parish's longstanding relationships with recruiting departments at wirehouses, regional broker-dealers and independents; from clients who share information with Mr. Parish about offers they have received; and from Mr. Parish's relationships with other recruiters in the financial industry.

Some recruiters with an online presence expressed skepticism.

Wirehouse recruiter Mark Elzweig, an executive-search consultant who does recruiting in the asset management universe, said his eponymous firm publishes detailed deal information monthly for advisers — and it's free for those who sign up for his mailing list.

“There are other recruiters who offer this as well,” Mr. Elzweig said. “I wish AdvisorHub luck with their new venture, but this information is already out there and available for free from a variety of sources.”

Ryan Shanks, chief executive of Finetooth Consulting and founder of Join A Firm, said his recruiting site was launched in 2011 as a private information source for advisers.

“If AdvisorHub is an app on the App Store, I would challenge how specific these deals can get,” Mr. Shanks said. “I think it's going to be tough, but I think it's intriguing that it's coming out as an app.”

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