2021 Advisor Compensation Study

2021 Advisor Compensation Study (October 2022)

Originated in 2012, updated in 2015 and 2018, with the most recent version available today. Kehrer Bielan has been the definitive industry resource on advisor compensation for years. The study consists of an analysis of trends in the structure and payouts in over 70 compensation plans in over 50 firms of all sizes, representing the majority of advisors in our industry.


The 2021 study provides direction to firms:

  • Needing to know how their compensation schedule stacks up to the industry for both retention and new hires;
  • Under cost pressure to either justify what advisors earn or to find compensation plan savings; or
  • Those looking to improve advisor performance with better plan design, paying for the right activities.

The study answers those questions, backed up by details on:

  • 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
  • Compensation structures for wealth advisors versus branch-based advisors
  • Special incentive and reward elements designed to drive behavior

All distilled by our expert analysis.

How advisors are paid can either make or break a business, so this is an indispensable resource to make sure you get it right. And now is the time to start the compensation discussion before being up against a deadline.


  • Fewer than 25 Advisors: $300
  • 25 to 100 Advisors: $600
  • More than 100 Advisors: 
    • Participating firms: $1,200
    • Non-participating firms: $3,000
  • Non-Financial institutions: $10,000 or contact peter.bielan@kehrerbielan.com