Guide to Growth Whitepaper Series

Leveraging Research and Industry Experience to Achieve Best Practices

Dr. Kenneth Kehrer was commissioned by PrimeVest Financial (Cetera Financial Group) to analyze the three decades of financial institution experience with offering investment and insurance services. The resulting whitepapers provide a guide to growth for banks and credit unions.

Guide to Growth: Leveraging Research and Industry Experience to Achieve Best Practices is a series of whitepapers that will show you how to realize the untapped potential in your financial institution to produce more revenue, increase fee income and better meet the needs of your clients. The whitepapers draw upon data mined from nearly 3,000 banks and credit unions, unveiling best practices that generate up to 76 percent more revenue in high-performing investment programs and help program management and financial institution executive leadership understand the scope of the opportunities in implementing these best practices.

From finding your opportunities for growth to examining the impact of life insurance sales, the Guide to Growth series gives you an array of topics to consider for your investment and insurance business.

Some of these studies were published under Kehrer Bielan Research & Consulting's previous name. You will see references to Kehrer Saltzman & Associates / "KSA" throughout the text.


Available Whitepapers

Click the title of the whitepapers to request your complimentary copy.

The Value of Adding Financial Planning within Your Bank or Credit Union (2014)

Kehrer Bielan has identified financial planning as one of the 5 Pillars of Performance—the foundation that banks and credit unions need to take their investment services to the next level. But among Financial Advisors in most financial institutions, the adoption of financial planning lags expectations.

In this whitepaper in the Cetera Guide to Growth series, we describe how financial planning is being delivered today in banks and credit unions, examine what happens to the performance of investment services when FAs incorporate planning into the way they do business, and identify best practices in encouraging the use of planning. 


How to Maximize the Impact of Sales Assistants and Junior Brokers (December 2013)

This whitepaper in the Cetera Guide to Growth series examines the value and advantages of using sales assistants and "junior brokers"—less experienced financial advisors partnered with more experienced advisors—in banks and credit unions offering investment services. As demonstrated in Optimizing the Advisor-to-Client Ratio, an earlier analysis in the Guide to Growth series, to maximize the revenue opportunity in their customer base, many financial institutions should double the number of financial advisors they employ. In today's very competitive market for advisors, however, recruiting and even retaining advisors is not only challenging, but often costly as well. 


Optimizing the Number of Financial Advisors (June 2015)

Optimize the advisor to client ratio so your program can determine the optimum number of financial professionals to deploy relative to the size of your financial institution. 


The Broker-Dealer Conundrum: Build, Maintain or Partner? (December 2012)

Review factors for your financial institution to consider when determining whether to manage an in-house broker-dealer or outsource functions to a third-party broker-dealer. 


Recognizing the Opportunities for Growth (June 2015)

If your financial institution has an existing investment program, learn about the opportunities for growth by comparing your current revenues to average and best practice firms. 


Maximizing Your Customers' Experiences Through an Integrated Wealth Management Offering (June 2015)

Are you leaving money on the table and wasting your opportunity to build a deeper relationship with your clients? If you aren't enhancing your customers' experience by effectively integrating their private banking, trust, and brokerage needs, the answer could be yes. Despite the fact that trust and private banking clients prefer to work with their financial institution, the chance to have a more meaningful relationship with these clients is being lost. This paper discusses how mobilizing your banks' units can strengthen your relationship with your clients and boost your bottom line. 


Building Your Fee-Based Business (June 2015)

Find the right mix between a traditional transaction business and investment advisory business and best practices in transitioning to a fee-based business. 

The Value of Referrals

It's no coincidence that among the most successful investment and insurance businesses in financial institutions, the ability to achieve more referrals is a critical factor in setting them apart from other providers of financial services. In fact, in 2010, the banks and credit unions in the top quartile of net income contribution from investment and insurance referred 36 percent more of their customer or member households to their financial advisors than their less successful counterparts. This paper discusses the advantages—and challenges—of referral generation among these "best practices" institutions.

Rightsizing Advisor Territories (March 2012)

Research over the past two decades has consistently demonstrated that the typical bank or credit union has under-penetrated its opportunity to capture the investment and insurance business of its client base. According to the 2010 Kehrer-LIMRA Financial Institution Investment Program Benchmarking Survey, the latest data available and the source for all the data presented in this paper, the average financial institution investment services unit deploys only one advisor for every 16,188 client households of the host institution. But adding additional advisors appears to be the best path to increasing revenue penetration.