The wirehouses are lagging behind in employee advisor satisfaction as the industry’s risk of attrition is rising overall, according to a recent survey.

Edward Jones took the top spot for overall satisfaction among employee advisors, followed by Stifel, Raymond James & Associates and Ameriprise, J.D. Power says it found in a survey of 3,039 employee and independent financial advisors fielded from January through May 2022.

Morgan Stanley, meanwhile, comes in below all four of the firms but slightly above the average for the segment, according to the survey. Wells Fargo scored lowest for employee advisor satisfaction, while Merrill Lynch fared better but still below the segment average, J.D. Power says.

Among independent advisors, the highest overall satisfaction was at Commonwealth, followed by Raymond James Financial Services and Ameriprise, all of which scored above the segment average, according to the survey. LPL Financial scored below the average, followed by Cetera and Advisor Group, which took the bottom place in the ranking.

J.D. Power says that it also found advisor attrition risk increased this year and is highest among wirehouses, where 15% of advisors are considering leaving their firm in the next one to two years.

By comparison, only 7% of independent advisors are thinking of leaving in that time frame, according to the survey.

“With the average age of a financial advisor climbing to 57 this year, wealth management firms that want to continue to grow must do more than just manage advisor attrition rates; they also need to actively create advisor brand evangelists who will attract the next generation of talent,” Mike Foy, senior director of wealth and lending intelligence at J.D. Power, said in a statement. “Right now, many firms are missing the mark on developing that level of advisor engagement, but there are some clear drivers that need to be in place for it to happen.”

Foy added that firms outperforming their peers on advisor satisfaction invest appropriately “in technology, effective marketing support, competitive products and services and have a strong top-down corporate culture.”

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