A recent survey by Boston-based Alite Group found the following:

  • 11,000 wirehouse reps may be on the move;
  • 15% are satisfied with their employer;
  • 20% are ready to move and would like to do so in the next 2 years;
  • 2/3’s of those with retention plans in place say there is a chance they’ll leave;
  • most advisors think they can take half of their existing book of business; and
  • only 23% would go independent. 

Brokers with retention plans in place will have to consider the economic impact walking on a retention plan would have in addition to the amount of business they could potentially lose.  Also, making the move from a large wirehouse, which in most instances is a member of the Protocol, to go independent could result in a non-compete or non-solicit lawsuit that could tie up the departing broker in Court or Arbitration and be a financial drain. 

With more and more advisors unhappy with their current wirehouse employer it will be interesting to see if there is actually a significant migration to become independent and what the wirehouse reaction is.  As it stands, wirehouse to wirehouse migration is down but whether advisors are that "unhappy" remains to be seen.

(h/t Howard Stock of the Bank Investment Consultant)