From late 2008 through 2009 financial advisors were on the move.  Thousands of brokers left their positions with firms like Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo and UBS.  Many transitioned to new brokerage houses enticed by lucrative signing bonuses and compensation packages.  Others were simply unsure of ever changing policies and compensation systems that resulted from industry consolidation such as the Merrill/BofA merger.


There were non-compete/non-solicitation lawsuits many of which were discussed here.  With the protocol in place, many FAs can transition to new jobs without the fear of a lawsuit.  Nevertheless, moving your business to a new employer is work.  Some clients are loyal to the institution, others simply don’t want to move, and the former employer will put a full press on to keep the departing brokers’ business once they announce their intentions to leave.

According to a recent Reuters’ article , the recruiting seen over the last year will calm down in 2010:

Veteran recruiter Michael King, of Michael King Associates, said movement will slow because so many brokers are now tied to their firms, either with retention plans or because they accepted recruiting packages with long-term commitments.

"The big wave was last year, from the end of ’08 through the first half ’09. A lot of the people who wanted to move, moved," King said. "And many of the people who have not moved are already under contract."

Companies will still offer lucrative incentives to move, but the pool available to transfer appears to have dried up for now.  Of course, the pool will repopulate after the deals inked in 2009 expire and some brokers look for the best new deal.