Wealth managers are racing to lock down next-gen financial advisers as they prepare for a wave of retirements. Here are their playbooks for recruiting, succession, and pay.

  • It's a critical moment for the wealth management industry's efforts around recruiting and training talent.
  • The industry is expected to lose thousands of advisers to retirements in the coming years. Firms are grappling with how to appeal to a younger generation and hold onto assets.
  • Business Insider is tracking how the industry is trying to shape financial advisers of the future with competitive pay, fresh recruiting strategies, and an emphasis on technology.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

One of the biggest focuses for wealth management firms today is how to best bring in fresh financial adviser talent.

Around one-third of the industry, or some 111,500 advisers, will retire within the next decade, the industry research firm Cerulli Associates said in a February report. Meanwhile, traditional wealth managers are dealing with how to better attract and keep younger people through their rigorous adviser training programs.

Maintaining a strong pipeline of talent is not only a matter of survival for the profession that's aging and already under pressure from purely digital startups, but is also key to holding onto client assets that would otherwise fly out the door with exiting advisers, analysts say.

And wealth firms need to be in position to win business from younger, more digitally native customers as they inherit wealth from baby boomers that have benefited from the long-running bull market.

"You have more advisers leaving the industry than we've been able to attract, and at the same time, you have wealth being created at a rate faster then we can even pursue," Jeff Tucker, the head of FAA sourcing and development at Morgan Stanley, told us in an interview earlier this year.

Addding to the industry's urgency are big growth plans. Wall Street firms and beyond are expanding or adding financial planning and money-management services as stock-picking and investing advice alone is largely being automated out. 

Business Insider is tracking how the industry is trying to shape the financial advisers of the future with competitive pay, fresh recruiting strategies, and a focus on technology. We're also reporting on how new advisers are trying to succeed in a fiercely competitive space.

Below is a selection of stories Business Insider has published around these themes.

Have an idea for another story, or a tip? Contact this reporter at [email protected]

Wealth management firms' recruitment plans

  • 9 top financial adviser recruiters to know right now who have moved wealth teams managing billions
  • Greg Fleming's $43 billion Rockefeller Capital has hired 19 adviser teams from top wealth firms in 7 months. Execs lay out where it's focused next.
  • A financial-adviser retirement wave that could put trillions of assets in play is kicking into high gear thanks to the pandemic. Here's how firms are tackling the handover crisis.
  • Wealth managers could save millions in costs from a snappier recruitment process. An analyst lays out the 3 firms that could benefit most.
  • Greg Fleming's Rockefeller Capital is building up its Washington presence by luring junior talent and veteran advisers from the biggest wealth managers
  • $5 billion wealth manager Chilton Trust just hired a new CEO away from JPMorgan's private bank this summer. Now she wants to double advisers at the firm's largest offices in 2 years.
  • UBS is bringing back a junior analyst role in its wealth management arm as the industry grapples with recruiting fresh talent
  • Wells Fargo has seen 1,000 financial advisers depart since its sales scandal broke in 2016. Here's how it's fighting back to retain talent and attract young hires.
  • Meet 7 people with big ideas about recruiting, tech, and fees who are shaking up the $49 trillion wealth management game
  • Greg Fleming's Rockefeller Capital wants to grow to as many as 200 high-end advisers. The firm's private wealth head describes his ideal candidate.

An inside look at how advisers are trained

  • The head of Merrill Lynch's training program, the firm's main talent pipeline, is leaving as the business grapples with remote work. Here are the challenges that await her successor.
  • A leaked memo shows Bank of America's Merrill Lynch is dealing with 'many' violations by financial adviser trainees working from home, so it's paused their reach-outs to new clients
  • The ultimate guide to getting hired as a financial adviser trainee at Morgan Stanley, UBS, and Merrill Lynch, and how to succeed in their ultra-competitive training programs
  • Merrill Lynch is shifting how it handles staff who drop out of its financial-adviser trainee program, and it highlights the industry's evolving career paths
  • Merrill Lynch hiked starting salaries for trainee advisers by $10,000 and has taken on 1,700 newbies so far this year. We have the details.
  • Tech-savvy staffers are training up Morgan Stanley financial advisers on the firm's WealthDesk tools. It's a chance to gain an in with adviser teams.
  • Merrill Lynch is about to launch a new training program for 6,500 client associates — and it shows how the role of full-fledged financial adviser is quickly evolving
  • Bank of America is pausing financial adviser training for 650 people and reassigning them to handle surging calls from consumer and small-business customers

Financial advisers' evolving wealth-tech

  • Pain points around onboarding new clients and remote transactions are causing wealth firms to lose clients and talent. Here's how they can improve.
  • Morgan Stanley wants to roll out a feature for financial advisers to help instantly analyze news and data about portfolio holdings
  • Tech is now essential in the battle to recruit and keep wealth talent. Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley execs gave us their pitch.
  • Financial advisers are worrying their profession will shrink — and they're blaming robo-advisers and waning interest in the career
  • UBS's Americas private-wealth head says he thinks losing a 'few hundred' advisers would not be a bad thing, and is looking at how robos can help keep the bank's richest clients
  • AI will transform wealth management in the coming decade. These are the skills human advisers will need to stay relevant, according to 8 top wealth execs.
  • WEALTH MANAGEMENT 2030: Read the full responses to our survey about wealth management and the financial adviser of the future
  • The new head of Wells Fargo's massive wealth arm explains why human financial advisers should embrace roboadvisers, not fear them
  • The head of innovation for TD Ameritrade's 7,000 adviser clients thinks virtual assistants and holograms will be must-have wealth tech by 2030
  • Here's what financial advisers say is the most overhyped wealth tech, and which tools they think will actually help them in the next 5 years

How retiring advisers transition assets to the new generation

  • Merrill Lynch just overhauled client-retention incentives for retiring advisers. An internal memo said it will hike payouts and subsidize handovers starting in 2021.
  • Wells Fargo is seeing more adviser retirements after an 'enthusiastic' response to its next-gen handover payouts
  • Meet 6 up-and-coming financial advisers at Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, and Merrill Lynch who are managing big money and navigating a cutthroat industry


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