Opportunities to hire wealth management talent are increasing because there’s more talent on the market due to layoffs and attrition, salary levels are normalizing, and, there’s an ever-evolving need and demand for financial advisors.
“People are more aware of the need for financial advice,” said Dave Glaser of ECG Resources, a national executive search firm focused on wealth management. “Baby boomers are growing up – there’s a higher level of need out there. Also, the average age of a financial adviser is near retirement, and there are not enough new people to fill in that gap.”
Glaser said despite the overall growth in wealth management – including credit, lending, and other categories that fall under the umbrella – ECG is “hyperfocused” on High Net Worth (HNW), which hovers around $1-10M, and Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW), which is a $25M+ net worth and above, though the terms are relative.
“We see clients dealing with Goldman Sachs, clients who are multi-billionaires… in a good market, obviously financial advice is key for those people,” he said. “The reality is, even if it’s a down market, someone who has a quarter billion dollars and gets hit hard and now only has 100 million, they still need financial advice. And for all those reasons, the market is definitely growing.” All segments of the market are growing, such as RIAS, multi-family offices, and even single family offices – though that’s a tricky market, Glaser said.
“It has a lot of appeal to it,” Glaser said. “Single family offices are easy to recruit for – it’s easy to pick up candidates for it, but it’s a tricky market. We had 3 searches for SFOs last year, one was filled and two were put on hold. It’s not a corporate structure; it’s an individual, so they can change their mind.”
Because the market is growing, search firms are experiencing unprecedented years. Glaser said ECG has double revenues over the past year, has almost doubled staff, and has rolled out a new website. In the first quarter of this year, they are ahead of last year, and are projecting growth going forward.
But it’s not easy, he said. Wealth management is a relatively small close market — it takes work to gain the confidence of a client and to find the right people for those clients, Glaser said.
The real need is candidates coming in from either a strong ethical background with experience in ethical work — including estate planning, CFPs, attorneys, and CPAs who have diverse background — or financial advisors coming from the investment side – such as an RA going into HNW space, such as an estate planning professional, tax planning professional, investment advisory, diversified financial planning, relationship management, and business development officers.
In addition to wealth management experience, companies want candidates with interpersonal client skills. Glaser, who has been recruiting for nearly 37 years, said the wealth management recruiting world has changed – clients are not just looking for someone who’s really technical, he said, they want candidates with client-facing skills and some new business skills – someone who’s not afraid to ask for referrals.
Those that are recruiting are being very selective, and becoming increasingly essential is the acceleration of growth in performance of newer advisers and encouraging long-term retention with incentives.
Article reposted from NPAworldwide Recruitment Network