The firm known primarily for its tax preparation services is ramping up its financial advisory force. H&R Block Financial Advisors had a record recruiting month in August, bringing aboard 48 financial advisors with a combined $1 billion in assets under management, according to a release.
“This success points out two things,” says Joan Cohen, executive vice president and the top executive of H&R Block Financial Advisors. “One, our more focused recruiting effort to reach higher-producing advisors is successful. And two, once an advisor understands the value proposition of working here, it’s an easy decision.”
Cohen says the firm is picking up most of its recruits—individuals and teams—from the wirehouses. Direct leads from the tax pros at its sister business unit are generating new business and new relationships for current advisors, which is helping to attract new recruits, says the firm.
Block, well known for a long tradition of tax preparation services, is yet to become a big player in financial advisory, but the growing advice side has received more attention of late (see related story, “True to Form,” from Rep.’s April 2005 issue). Some recruiters say Block’s securities unit still must overcome come some stubborn, negative stereotypes that originate from its roots as Olde Financial, which Block bought in 1999. But August’s new advisor haul could be a sign that H&R Block’s metamorphosis is getting traction.