Unlocking Real Value Blog

AK In The News: Talent Contest Tightens For High-End Advisors

I was just quoted in an article in Fundfire (A Financial Times Service) which focused on two main points – the hiring prospects for high-end advisors in 2012 as well as the outlook for continued restructuring (code word for budget cuts and layoffs) at home offices in the brokerage community.

While I was not asked to comment on the first question, I agree with the gist of the article that 2012 will be another good year for hiring. The brokerage firms continue to recruit, understanding that wealth management will continue to be a driver for profitability (as they see investment banking revenues decline). And the RIA world, which has been in a growth mode, will continue to be in such a mode, as they continue to attempt to take market share.

As to whether or not the home office restructuring for brokerage firms is over, I disagree with the other gentlemen quoted, who feels that this downsizing has worked its way through the system.

To quote the article: “Not everyone shares this outlook, however. Various factors – such as market competition, evolving technology that automates more processes, pressure on fees from demanding clients, and the temptation to further streamline branches in congested markets – all will encourage more big-brokerage staffing cuts, says Andy Klausner, principal of AK Advisory Partners.

How can they be more profitable without cutting more people in this environment? he asks. I don’t see any reason why you won’t continue to consolidate branch operations. If you have four branches in Cleveland with four operations centers, that’s a place [firms may target]. I think we have more to go.” (I didn’t mean to pick on Cleveland – that is where I am from – I just used it as an example! Also, by operations centers, I am referring to the cages.)

What do you think?

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