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Research Summary / Download the Report

A succession plan is more than an exit plan.

For years, financial advisors have believed that when it comes to succession planning, it’s a seller’s market. But as all advisors know, markets change. And these days the opposite may be true: Advisors hoping to sell their business may in fact struggle to find the right successor.

“There’s a wave of advisors expecting to leave the industry in the next decade, and the supply may simply outstrip demand,” says Greg Cornick, President of Advice and Wealth Management at Advisor Group. “That’s why it’s important for advisors to start building a succession plan now.”

A new survey by and Advisor Group asked advisors for their perspectives on succession planning, from their plans for finding a successor to the challenges of creating a written plan to exit their business.

With a wave of advisors expected to leave the industry in the next 10 years, advisors should start building a succession plan now. What’s more, only 14% of those surveyed–including the 60% of respondents under age 60—say they are definitely interested in buying a business and becoming a successor in the near future.

A succession plan is more than an exit plan to help advisors capture the value they’ve built in a successful business. It also is a way to help ensure that the firm’s clients are well cared for after the advisor’s retirement. Meeting those dual objectives can be challenging— particularly in the current market environment. However, advisors don’t have to do this work alone. “Advisors have a lot of tools at their disposal to help them through this process, from the very first step to handing the keys to their successor,” says Todd Fulks, JD, SVP of Succession Planning & Business Acquisition at Advisor Group.