2015 Advisor Compensation Study (November 2015)

Greater Advisor productivity has been the driving force of increased revenue the past few years, so paying Advisors the most meaningful way is critical to continuing this trend. Without a competitive and carefully crafted incentive plan, you risk underusing the most important asset of the firm: your Advisors.

How much in additional incentive is paid for Advisors reaching financial planning goals, or advisory business? How prevalent is deferred compensation? How much more do Senior Advisors and “second story” Independent Advisors earn than branch based Advisors? What are firms doing differently than paying a traditional draw and commission grid?

Kehrer Bielan has been the definitive industry resource on Advisor compensation for years. This study once again answers these and other questions.

Our Advisor Compensation study details:

  • Base salaries, forgivable and non-forgivable draw amounts
  • Grid levels and break points used in commission plans
  • Effective payout an Advisor earns at different production ranges
  • Commission plans for Senior Advisors and Advisors who work independent of the branch network
  • Enhancements designed to drive behavior of seven critical special incentive components.


The study consists of an analysis of the structure and trends of compensation plans in 30 banks that employ the lion’s share of Advisors in financial institutions.

For the first time, we have detailed alternative compensation approaches to the traditional base and grid plan that are in use at some firms.

In addition, the compensation plans are presented side-by-side in a spreadsheet, on a blind basis. You will see base salary and draw amounts, payout rates and their corresponding production levels, the effective payout rate (base plus grid) earned by Advisors, and the enhancements from special incentives to drive the seven firm objectives.


  • Fewer than 25 Advisors: $250
  • 25 to 100 Advisors: $600
  • More than 100 Advisors: $1,200
  • Non-Financial institutions: Contact peter.bielan@kehrerbielan.com


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