Available Research Reports

The following reports will help you understand what motivates your staff and help you gain a competitive edge in hiring and retaining talent for your company. 

 Ending Catch and Release: A New Era Recruiting Plan to Reel in Advisors

The need for more advisors has never been more apparent than today.   Many firms have seen flat advisor counts for multiple years and run the risk of not keeping pace with their financial institution’s growth.  This pressure will be amplified as advisors evolve to a financial planning approach making it even more difficult for a firm to grow top line revenue when advisors will have to spend significantly more time with each client and do it in an environment where fees and commissions are compressing. Read more.

Closing the Bank Door: Driving Growth by Stemming Advisor Attrition

Many firms report losing one advisor for every one they recruit. This study examines the experience of 3 dozen banks and credit unions to describe their advisor attrition rate, where they went, the lost revenue when an advisor bolts, and best practices in advisor retention tactics. Read more.


Desigining an Advisor Compensation Plan under the DoL Fiduciary Standard: The Effectivenes of Traditional Plan Features

The implementation of the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Standard for qualified retirement investments is causing firms to consider changes in the way they compensate their Financial Advisors. The DoL Rule seeks to eliminate conflicts in the way Advisors are paid which might encourage them to provide advice that is not in the best interest of the client but provides higher commissions or fees to the Advisor. Read more.


Effective Financial Advisor Compensation: Advisory Business—Complimentary

This complimentary study analyzes the Advisor compensation plans in 61 banks and credit unions and how 7 components of those plans influence how much advisory business Advisors produce. Read more.


2015 Advisor Compensation Study

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 under-using the most important asset of the firm: your Advisors. Read more.


Effective Positioning and Compensation for Sales Assistants

As investment services in financial institutions look to continue year-over-year revenue gains, increased Advisor productivity will surely be a major contributor. Using Sales Assistants is an important lever to enhance Advisor productivity. But there is a delicate balance between Sales Assistants providing real productivity benefits, or simply adding costs that don’t translate benefits to the bottom line. Read more


Advisor Tenure Study—Benchmarking key business metrics of Advisors throughout their career

For years the industry has used a single number—the average production of an Advisor in a Financial Institution—to assess an Advisor’s performance. All Advisors in a firm are measured against that single benchmark. But what about an Advisor with 2 years of experience with the firm? Is that single industry benchmark useful? How about the Advisor with 15 years tenure? Read more.


Trends in Associate Advisor Compensation Plans

It is no secret that recruiting enough Advisors with the desired skill level is one of the greatest challenges facing many firms today. To address that challenge, many firms are utilizing Associate Advisors to help their existing Advisors, and to broaden the pool for Advisor candidates. Adding Associate Advisors may be the right strategy to help grow your sales force. Read more


Advisor Compensation Plan Study

This report provides a tool that enables side-by-side comparisons of 63 different compensation plans currently being used in financial institutions. The advisors covered by these plans account for about 40 percent of all advisors working in banks and credit unions across the country. Read more.


Financial Advisor Compensation Plans in Credit Unions Comparison

We created a workbook with institution-by-institution compensation plans for financial advisors in 34 leading credit unions and 35 banks. Designed specifically for credit unions, this is an invaluable resource for comparing advisor compensation plans to industry peers, ensuring industry competitiveness while promoting cost consciousness. Read more.


Effective Financial Advisor Compensation in Credit Unions—Complimentary

The first study to examine the impact of Advisor incentive plan components on the Advisor’s performance, recruiting, retention, and the performance of the credit union’s investment services business. Read more.


Recruiting Packages for Financial Advisors in Banks and Credit Unions Study

The competition for financial advisors is increasingly intense, with larger bank and nonbank firms providing significant incentives to attract talent. When recruiting advisors, you need to know what other firms are offering and which incentives work best. Read more.


Compliance Expense Study 2013

With heightened levels of risk management in banks and credit unions, and increasingly restrictive securities regulations, it is not surprising that the cost of compliance and supervision for investment services in financial institutions has increased by one-third in the past three years. But, is this function appropriately resourced? Are the resources being deployed efficiently? Read more.


Benchmarking Wealth Management: Staff Productivity and Compensation

This report provides benchmarks for assets and revenue per FTE for key positions/functions in bank trust and investment management firms. Read more.


Career Connections

Through Career Connections, candidates upload their resume and cover letter, and browse open positions. Firms post open job positions and browse the candidate listings. Access is available through a simple sign-on and all services are free. Click here to log into the Career Connections Forum.


Upcoming Best Practices Study Groups

New Importance of Financial Planning and LIfe Insurance After DoL  April 17-18, 2018, Chapel Hill, NC

Spring Tune Up  May 15-16, 2018, Chapel Hill, NC

Fall Wrap Up  September 18-19, 2018, Chapel Hill, NC

Managing Omni Channel Delivery  November 5-6, 2018, Chapel Hill, NC



Many firms offer consulting on developing compensation plans and solving other talent management challenges. But only we are able to combine our empirical data with a practical understanding of what has and hasn't worked. We wrap this approach within an appreciation for the culture that is unique to your company, enabling us to provide recommendations that go beyond the "what" and "why" to include the "how". This unique blend can be found nowhere else, and can help your firm move quickly and decisively to capitalize on opportunities to unlock value and improve profitability. View some of our past consulting engagements.