About 45 percent of advisors describe themselves as "dedicated" to their jobs, but another 31% say they are "indifferent" about their work and have no strong attachment to their firms, according to a new study.
A report released today by J.D. Power and Associates measuring advisors satisfaction with their firm or broker-dealer found that out of 2,500 advisors surveyed, 45 percent of employee advisors and 44 percent of independent advisors are dedicated (45 percent of all respondents), meaning they are highly satisfied with their investment services firm or broker-dealer. Dedicated advisors are more likely to remain with their current firm in the next year because they believe the firm is a good place to work; has strong cultural values and beliefs; and is focused on the customer rather than on the bottom line, according to the survey.
Thirty-six percent of employee advisors and 23 percent of independent advisors are indifferent (31 percent of all respondents) and lack a strong attachment to their firm. Indifferent advisors are not as satisfied with their firm or broker-dealer, but remain there because they have a financial incentive to stay; don’t have a good reason to leave; or are under contract and can’t leave, according to J.D. Powers.
“With indifferent advisors, because there is no strong connection to their firm, they are likely to be more open to discussions and opportunities with another firm or broker-dealer if the right offer comes along,” says Craig Martin, director of investment services at J.D. Power and Associates a Westlake Village, Calif.-based global marketing information services company. “Additionally, when an advisor leaves, they usually take a large percentage of their clients with them. That means the firm or broker-dealer not only loses an advisor, but also customers, and one of their competitors gains both.”
Firms can improve advisor satisfaction and increase loyalty with a positive corporate culture, by focusing on customers, and providing advisors with the tools and support they need to effectively service their clients, according to the report.
On a 1,000-point scale, overall satisfaction among employee advisors slipped slightly to 695 for this year, compared with 698 for 2012. Overall satisfaction among independent advisors increased 20 points, to 794 from 774 in 2012.
For individual firms, Edward Jones ranked highest in overall satisfaction, with a score of 907 for employee advisor firms. Raymond James & Associates ranked second overall at 891 and UBS Financial Services ranked third at 751.
Among independent advisor broker-dealer firms, Commonwealth Financial Network ranked highest in overall satisfaction with an overall score of 945. Cambridge Investment Research ranked second at 895 and Raymond James Financial Services ranked third at 879.
The study was conducted between October 2012 and February 2013.