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Advisors, Your Next Job May Be Somewhere Unexpected


Attention, financial advisors: your next job opportunity in the finance industry could take on a new twist beyond work at a traditional advisory firm. Positions are increasingly available at banks and trust departments as executives look to expand their roster of in-house advisors and explore merger and acquisition opportunities with advisor firms to broaden their offerings, according to “The Cerulli Report—U.S. Private Banks & Trust Companies 2022.”

Why is this happening, and what does it mean for financial advisors? We’ll unpack the report below.

A financial advisor could help you create a financial plan to protect your investments and identify new opportunities to make money.

Why Are Banks and Trust Companies Courting Financial Advisors?

In an increasingly competitive wealth management market, banks and trusts that offer a full suite of financial planning services stand to win over a client base in need of a wider range of products and advice. As part of that effort, banks and trusts are looking to swallow up financial advisor firms so they can count the deep bench of acquired advisors as their own employees who bring expertise to the table.

That’s why more than 68% of private bank and trust executives are now considering M&A to increase growth opportunities for their businesses, according to the Cerulli report, with 75% of execs reporting the desire for greater economies of scale as their No. 1 reason for M&A activity.

As firms look to provide more value for their existing clients and cast a wider net to grow market share, this M&A activity lets them scale to be more nimble at meeting clients’ technological needs while also keeping costs low and offerings more expansive.

“As technology and service demands grow among consumers, more scaled and integrated firms will be able to provide seamless, comprehensive and cost-competitive financial services experiences for their clients,” said Chayce Horton, a research analyst for Cerulli Associates.

Beyond M&A activity, 53% of private bank and trust executives are actively recruiting advisors and advisory teams from other firms, according to the Cerulli report. Poaching these advisors accomplishes a primary goal: Banks and trusts want to be seen as offering competitive services outside of the traditional banking world.

That also makes them increasingly appealing to the crop of young, affluent clients who are looking to utilize a wider range of services from advisors who can provide personalized attention beyond products.

Good News for Advisors

SmartAsset: Advisors, your next job could be somewhere you don't expect

These dynamics offer new opportunities for advisors, who may be looking to make a change — frustrated as they may be by red tape but unwilling to undertake the risk of going out on their own.

“Firms that have adequate operational scale with a wide breadth of services and a strong advisor platform can hope to be attractive landing spots for advisors who are dissatisfied with restrictions of very large institutions but do not want to bear the burdens of a fully independent operating model,” Horton said.

The Bottom Line

SmartAsset: Advisors, your next job could be somewhere you don't expect

Advisors are a hot commodity for banks and trusts. Private banks and trust department executives are seeking to scale their businesses and make their offerings more cost-competitive and comprehensive by acquiring financial advisor firms and adding advisors to their rosters. These dynamics may make them more appealing to clients and may offer great professional opportunities for advisors too.

Tips for Growing Your Financial Advisory Business

  • Let us be your organic growth partner. If you are looking to grow your financial advisory business, check out SmartAsset’s SmartAdvisor platform. We match certified financial advisors with right-fit clients across the U.S.
  • Expand your radius. SmartAsset’s recent survey shows that many advisors expect to continue meeting with clients remotely following COVID-19. Consider broadening your search. And work with investors who are more comfortable with holding virtual meetings or spacing out in-person meetings.

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