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Solving the Next Gen Advisor Conundrum: Time to Productivity

Solving the Next Gen Advisor Conundrum: Time to Productivity

Advisors are hungry for solutions that will help their team members become as productive as possible, as quickly as possible. Wealth management firms face the reality that the future of their practice depends on their ability to bring in younger advisors who can help transition the firm through the next generation of clients. For many firms, this is a key part of the succession planning process—these younger advisors are the ones who will take over when a practice’s current leaders leave.

Younger advisors also may play a critical role in helping to attract younger investors—particularly those that are expected to inherit significant sums of money in the coming decades. In the next several decades, an estimated $30 trillion will change hands as older generations leave their assets to their heirs.1

Training the next generation of advisors seems like it should be straightforward: Bring in new advisors, give them the tools they need to do the job well and stand back. In reality, however, the process is never that simple. Bringing new or relatively inexperienced advisors up to speed can be very challenging—particularly since established advisors have plenty of other tasks on their daily agenda.

What’s more, advisors may face an uphill battle when it comes to training greener colleagues. For starters, many advisors say the next generation of advisors at their firms are only somewhat engaged in their work and contribute only moderately to the firm’s success, according to a recent research from and Breakthrough for Growth. The study asked more than 350 advisors about topics related to the next generation of advisors, such as their confidence in their leadership abilities and their abilities to train these younger advisors.

Advisors also tend to overestimate how effectively they can train their teams. Most survey respondents were confident in their abilities to organize their team and orchestrate work. But when it came time to gauging their effectiveness at performing key management tasks, their responses showed that that reality didn’t quite match perception.

As a result, advisors face a two-part challenge: rallying a relatively unengaged workforce, and confronting their own deficits when it comes to managing those workers. The good news is that advisors can address these issues by gaining a better understanding of how to boost engagement and how to tackle their own management shortcomings.


1 “The ‘Greater’ Wealth Transfer: Capitalizing on the Intergenerational Shift in Wealth,” Accenture, 2012.

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Breakthrough Growth, LLC is a joint venture between The Collaborative and Purpose Consulting Group. Established by two industry veterans to meet the need for effective hands-on resources to accelerate productivity of the next generation of advisors and their leaders.  

Christine Gaze is president of Purpose Consulting Group, a practice management consulting firm that works with financial services leaders to develop strategies and thought leadership programs that engage and advance financial advisors.  In the last 20 years, she has held a variety of leadership roles in practice management and human capital at firms such as Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, AllianceBernstein and TD Ameritrade.  She is a frequent speaker, avid researcher, and writer.

Beverly D. Flaxington (The Human Behavior Coach™) has spent more than 25 years in the investment industry as a sales and marketing expert, corporate consultant, college professor and Gold-award winning author She has been quoted in hundreds of media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. Her latest bestselling book is titled Understanding Other People: The Five Secrets to Human Behavior.

Next: The Engagement Epidemic

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