Wells Fargo’s financial advisor ranks continue to shrink. The brokerage ended the second quarter with a total of 12,819 financial advisors, down 10% from a year ago and 3% from the first quarter, according to the company’s second quarter results.
Some of the attrition may be due to the fact that earlier this year, the firm announced plans to stop catering to clients outside the U.S. in an effort to “simplify the business,” said Jim Hays, head of Wells Fargo Advisors and the wealth and investment management client relationship group. Other firms, such as RIAs Snowden Lane and Sanctuary Wealth, have picked up several Wells Fargo teams serving international clients.
Wells Fargo’s wealth and investment management division, which includes The Private Bank, Abbot Downing, the firm’s employee, bank and independent brokerage models and clearing business, reported total revenue during the quarter of about $3.5 billion, up 10% from a year ago, driven primarily by higher asset-based fees on higher market valuations. Net income for the segment was $465 million, up from $156 million in the year-ago quarter.
Total client assets increased 20% year-over-year to $2.1 trillion, driven by higher market valuations. Annual advisor productivity also improved during the quarter, rising to about $1.1 million, up 21% from a year ago and 2% from the first quarter.
Wells Fargo reported total revenue of $20.27 billion for the quarter, up 10.9% year-over-year, beating analysts’ expectations by $2.58 billion, according to SeekingAlpha.com. Diluted earnings per share was $1.38, compared to a loss of $1.01 per share a year ago, beating expectations by 40 cents a share.