More advisors key to increasing investment services penetration and revenue
Financial institutions have a growth mandate—to grow deposits, market share, net income and the return on average equity. Many institutions also have a strategic imperative to increase the AUM and revenue of their investment services. While our research has demonstrated over and over that the direct path to growing investment services is to add financial advisors, banks and credit unions have actually been losing ground. According to the Kehrer Bielan annual benchmarking surveys, advisor headcount decreased 2% last year, on the heels of a similar decline in 2018.
This shortfall may be amplified as financial institutions grow their banking client base, and financial advisors end up servicing a smaller proportion of the bank clients. The upshot is that advisor coverage in financial institutions is thinning out, with fewer advisors tasked with covering more bank customers. Last year financial institutions deployed one advisor for every $277 million in self-reported consumer deposits, representing a 3% decline from the previous year and 8% from 2016.
(These trends are validated from the 2016-2019 annual benchmarking surveys that Kehrer Bielan conducted on bank-owned broker dealers, credit unions, and regional and community banks that partner with third party broker-dealers. The benchmarking surveys provide insights from hundreds of institutions and thousands of advisors – this year’s studies covered 328 financial institutions and 6,894 financial advisors.)
Kehrer Bielan research has consistently shown that financial institutions could improve their investment services penetration with advisor coverage of $125-$150 million of consumer deposits. That means that many institutions need to double their advisor headcount so that they can serve the investment needs of the bank’s customers.
If investment services offered by financial institutions are going to move beyond their status as a niche business and claim their seat at the table of the overall banking enterprise, they must achieve scale. And scale necessitates more advisors.
Is your investment program right-sized for increased profitability? Are you considering adding experienced financial advisors to your team? Financial institutions that leverage partners like Ameriprise have access to a comprehensive recruiting and onboarding process that includes market intelligence, territory analysis, ROI projections, final offer and ongoing advisor support.