The independent advisor channel is gaining advisors while wirehouse advisor ranks shrink, according to a recent report.
“The good news is that even amidst a turbulent economy and market, advisor movement in the first half of 2022 was extraordinary!,” Mindy Diamond, founder of Diamond Consultants, wrote in Forbes.
Diamond Consultants found that 4,249 advisors with more than three years of experience switched firms during the first six months of the year, according to Diamond, who adds that it works out to 708 advisors per month.
Among the wirehouses, Diamond Consultants found “massive deltas between the winners and the losers,” she writes. Only Morgan Stanley grew its ranks in the first half of the year — by just 87 advisors — while its wirehouse rivals all saw their net counts drop, according to Diamond.
Overall, the wirehouse segment was down more than 300 advisors in the first six months of 2022, making the firms “the most significant net losers of advisor headcount,” she wrote.
The wirehouses’ losses were independent firms’ gains. That sector added 287 advisors on a net basis, according to Diamond Consultants.
The company also found that signing deals stayed at record highs, with independent advisors seeing 30% to 100% in trailing 12-month production and employee advisors getting 250% to 350%.
Diamond added that the growing advisor ranks at regional firms — which added close to 200 advisors in the first half of the year — suggests that advisors want not just the deals but “culture and greater control, too.”
Diamond Consultants also found that advisors are switching channels without changing firms: “Many” advisors are moving into Wells Fargo’s Financial Network, its independent channel, from other divisions within the firm.
Other firms, including LPL Financial, Stifel Nicolaus and Raymond James, have likewise expanded their affiliation options, Diamond writes.