Financial advisors are an ‘old’ bunch – with an average age in their mid-50s and a big bulge of advisors now in their 60s and 70s. If that didn’t already pose a risk to their clients, the COVID-induced recession means that many of them will leave sooner than expected – either by choice or otherwise – and may choose to retire completely in the current economic environment.
Merrill Lynch, perhaps in response to both issues, is seeking to shift the age balance of its advisor ranks. Certainly larger wealth advisory firms are in a better position to develop succession strategies for their advisors than smaller firms and sole practitioners. But that doesn’t mean they are doing so, or that they are doing so well.
Some 37% of financial advisors in the US are expected to leave this decade, and they represent about 39% of wealth managed by US advisors servicing the retail market.
For families, this is a mix of key person and supply chain risk, and needs to be on the agenda.
Consider This: What are the key advisor relationships for your family? What is the plan if one of them leaves, retires, or falls ill with COVID? Has your family considered these risks for all categories of advisors?
Original articles: https://www.investmentnews.com/merrill-lynch-next-generation-advisers-succession-planning-193904, https://www.wealthprofessional.ca/news/industry-news/coronavirus-crisis-puts-advisor-succession-planning-in-focus/329694, https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/29/financial-advisors-need-succession-plan-to-benefit-clients-and-firm.html
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