Based on these numbers alone, the IBD would be far more profitable if the advisor affiliated directly with the IBD directly instead of through the super OSJ. Yet, there’s another factor to consider—super OSJs are typically advisor-recruiting machines for IBDs.

The high number of new advisors, and therefore new revenue from clients, that super OSJs attract come with net new profit for IBDs that otherwise would struggle to meet their targets.


Once we accept that super-OSJs continue to deliver a compelling payout story relative to direct home office affiliation for most advisors, let’s look at the broader value-add issue.

Under the current trajectory of the post-DOL-rule regulatory landscape, it seems very clear that, contrary to the industry doomsayers, super OSJs will continue to add value. And the simple reason why is because most super-OSJs that are strong and growing enjoy their present circumstances because they provide services most IBDs simply can’t provide to advisors on their own.

In fact, beyond payouts-based margin considerations, there are three main value-add benefits that strong and growing super OSJs continue to deliver to advisors, that IBDs continue to experience challenges in replicating on their own for all of their potential recruits:

• Super-OSJs are generally regionally based, providing face-to-face camaraderie among advisors in what can feel like an isolating business. 

• Many super OSJs offer support for administrative, operations, onboarding, marketing and research teams that advisors leverage as part of their own services to clients. 

• The size of a super OSJ grants their advisors better access to senior leadership at the IBD. This accelerates problem solving and minimizes bureaucratic confusion for advisors.

Decision Time