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Edward Jones, Commonwealth Win for Advisor Satisfaction

By Elizabeth Jensen April 15, 2013

Independent advisors are growing happier with their work situation, the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 U.S. Financial Advisor Satisfaction Study found. Employee advisors, not so much.

At 794, overall satisfaction reported by independent advisors is up 29 points (on a 1,000-point scale) since 2010, according to the annual survey. Employee advisors report a satisfaction level of 695, up 12 points since 2010.

This year’s study, conducted between October 2012 and February 2013 and canvassing 2,500 financial advisors, also found that 36% of employee advisors and 23% of independent advisors are indifferent toward their firm or broker-dealer. In a statement released by J.D. Power, director of investment services Craig Martin said advisors who lack a strong connection to their employer are at risk for changing firms.

Edward Jones ranked highest in employee advisor satisfaction, which was based on firm performance; compensation; contact; people; job duties; work environment; products and offerings to clients; technology; and services and support offered. The firm performed particularly well in work environment, job duties and firm performance, J.D. Power reported. Raymond James & Associates came in second.

Independent advisors’ favorite firm is Commonwealth Financial Network, according to the survey, scoring high in firm performance, people and job duties. Cambridge Investment Research is No. 2.

Martin says firms that want to improve advisor satisfaction and increase loyalty should start with a “positive corporate culture — being honest and focusing on customers — and providing advisors with the tools and support they need to effectively service their clients.” More than 40% of advisors reported having experienced a problem with computers or paperwork in the previous 12 months.