In a challenging recruiting environment, financial institutions are now able to find an advisor to fill a vacancy one month faster than three years ago. That was one of the key findings from a recent study – Where Will the Next Generation of Advisors Come From? – a complimentary study sponsored by Cetera Financial Institutions.

This year the average number of weeks it took to find an advisor to replace one who left was 16.3 weeks, compared to 20.5 weeks 3 years ago.

The shortening of the recruiting cycle appears to be related to the increase in banks and credit unions growing their own advisors, instead of poaching advisors from other firms, another key finding of the study. Deciding that someone who is being groomed to be an advisor is ready to be promoted takes much less time than identifying outside candidates, and interviewing, vetting, and convincing them to join the firm.

The elapsed time between when an advisor leaves the firm and a replacement is up and running can be crippling for a branch-based advisor model. Production is lost not only while the advisor’s desk is vacant, but also during the period that it takes for the new advisor to get established. Obtaining quality referrals from branch staff is largely a relationship building process, as branch staff become comfortable with the advisor and gain confidence in the advisor’s ability to help their clients. Kehrer Bielan research suggests that this usually takes more than 3 years, even for experienced advisors.

The survey was conducted during the spring and summer, and encompassed 67 banks and credit unions that collectively employ 4,001 advisors.

The survey is part of a broader Kehrer Bielan study of where the next generation of advisors is coming from, commissioned by Cetera Financial Institutions, to:

  • Study how financial institutions find new advisors;
  • Identify banks and credit unions that are having success recruiting both first career and second career advisors; and
  • Distill best industry practices

To obtain a complimentary copy of the study, click here.


Cetera Financial Institutions is a marketing name of Cetera Investment Services LLC, a self-clearing registered broker-dealer who delivers customized investment and insurance solutions to financial institutions nationwide. Cetera Investment Services helps institutions expand their financial offerings, which allows clients to pursue their financial goals through a holistic approach while delivering sound and strong financial solutions. Advisory services are offered through Cetera Investment Advisers LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser firm, where financial advisors receive a wide array of solutions and back-office support, so that they can focus on clients.

Cetera Investment Services LLC and Cetera Investment Advisers LLC are members of Cetera Financial Group®, Inc., which provides leading wealth management and advisory platforms and innovative technology to financial advisors and financial institutions nationwide. Cetera Investment Services is a member of the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

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