Veteran advisors, many of whom are more than two years from retirement, have no qualms about leaving their current firm in the next one to two years, according to a study by J.D. Power.

More than a third of advisors in the employee channel (34%) and 41% of independent advisors indicate that they may not stay with their firm, according to the “J.D. Power 2024 U.S. Financial Advisor Satisfaction Study,” which also pointed out that many of these advisors have worked for three or more firms during their career.

Leadership and culture are big sticking points for many of these advisors. In fact, 46%, down from 54% last year, said they “strongly agree” that their firm is headed in the right direction, according to the survey, which gathered responses from 4,072 employee and independent financial advisors and was fielded from January through May.

“Several forces are currently at play that pose challenges to the loyalties of even the most entrenched advisors,” said Craig Martin, the executive managing director and head of wealth and lending intelligence at J.D. Power, in a statement. “Aggressive compensation offers, a promise of better technology or support, and flexible business models can all tempt advisors to change firms. However, the cultural fit and advisor confidence in leadership are what determine how susceptible they are to attempts to lure them away,” he added.

The study also noted that there has been a shift in satisfaction among independent advisors who have become more discontented. Their overall satisfaction was 611 (on a 1,000-point scale), reflecting a significant 15-point year-over-year decline. Conversely, satisfaction among advisors in the employee channel rose significantly by 49 points year over year to 637.

Also noteworthy is that the number of advisors who’d previously said they were moving on and then actually did so. About half those in a 2021 study by J.D. Power followed through on plans to move on after saying they “definitely would not” or “probably would not” be at the same firm in one to two years.

Among those firms ranked by employee advisors for overall satisfaction, Stifel came out on top: For the second consecutive year, the firm ranked highest in overall satisfaction, with a score of 767. Raymond James & Associates ranked second (750), and Edward Jones ranked third (740). Wells Fargo Advisors, the study pointed out, had the largest year-over-year gain in overall satisfaction, increasing 156 points to 563.

Among firms ranked by independent advisors, Commonwealth is on a roll. For the 11th consecutive time, the firm garnered the highest in overall satisfaction, with a score of 819. Raymond James Financial Services ranked second (694), and Cambridge ranked third (676).