TD Ameritrade Institutional Advisor Index Survey: RIAs Experience Little Turnover in Staff, Increasingly Look to Hire in the Next Year

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Independent registered investment advisors (RIAs) report the majority (57 percent) of new client assets continue to come from full-commission firms, up slightly from 55 percent in 2011. To maintain momentum, many RIAs are making the move to add staff to help sustain this growth. Nine in 10 advisors report the total number of clients has increased or remained steady over the past year, according to the latest Advisor Index Survey released by TD Ameritrade Institutional1. RIAs surveyed report an average annual revenue growth rate of 15 percent.

Independent registered investment advisors (RIAs) report the majority (57 percent) of new client assets continue to come from full-commission firms, up slightly from 55 percent in 2011. To maintain momentum, many RIAs are making the move to add staff to help sustain this growth. Nine in 10 advisors report the total number of clients has increased or remained steady over the past year, according to the latest Advisor Index Survey released by TD Ameritrade Institutional1. RIAs surveyed report an average annual revenue growth rate of 15 percent.

According to the quarterly Advisor Index Survey of 502 RIAs, nearly 40 percent of advisors are considering adding staff in the next six months. Of those advisors looking to hire, one-fourth will look to hire a female advisor to help attract and retain female investors. Notably, nearly 80 percent of advisors have experienced no turnover in their offices in the past year.

“Adding staff is a very important process for each advisor. As business owners, RIAs share a common goal of finding a balance of talent, skill and personality to fit within their current culture and values,” said George Tamer, director, strategic relationships, TD Ameritrade Institutional. “The survey mirrors what we’ve been hearing from advisors, who say successfully cultivating new staff in an advisor’s business can be a difficult task, but in the end, it is essential for growth.”

Hiring (22 percent) and firing (18 percent) topped the list of top human resources challenges advisors say they face today. Developing (12 percent) and training staff (12 percent) were also areas of concern.

Compared to 2011, more advisors report increased spend on human capital efforts, including professional development (43 percent), staffing (40 percent), and salaries and bonuses (50 percent).

Overall, RIAs believe they manage their people effectively. An overwhelming majority of advisors view themselves as good people managers (87 percent). Ninety percent of advisors also believe that their employees would rate them as a good manager. However, 82 percent of advisors spend less than five hours managing staff and human resources-related tasks. Advisors recognize that there is room for improvement and cite the need to improve organization (30 percent), empower employees (25 percent), and work on communication skills (16 percent) to be a better manager.

“Advisors can be pulled in a thousand different directions daily. Taking the time to cultivate staff and provide them with the opportunity to succeed is beneficial to an advisor’s business and gives the advisors more time on what they do best, helping their clients meet their financial needs,” said Tamer. “Advisors need a disciplined approach to hire, train and retain the best people.”

Advisors are mixed on their use of human resources tools. A majority (69 percent) of advisors report they have a current employee manual and more than half (56 percent) have formal, written job descriptions for each role in their office. However, only one-third of RIAs outline a career path for new employees. RIAs most commonly lean on their peers (52 percent), benchmarking studies (32 percent) and industry whitepapers (32 percent) for guidance on human resources tools and management in their offices.

“Properly managing the human capital in your business is just as important as managing the bottom line numbers,” said Tamer. “It’s in the best interest of your clients and the success of your business to provide meaningful training and opportunities for growth to attract and retain the best talent in the industry.”

For more information about the TD Ameritrade Institutional Advisor Index Survey, visit http://www.amtd.com/newsroom to download the complete survey findings.

For more information about practice management and human capital resources, please visit http://www.maximizemyriabusiness.com.

Survey Methodology
These results are based on a survey conducted by Maritz, Inc. on behalf of TD Ameritrade Institutional; a division of TD Ameritrade, Inc. Five-hundred and two registered investment advisors (“RIAs”) participated in a telephone survey from March 29 – April 9, 2012. Independent RIAs who custody with TD Ameritrade Institutional, as well as other independent RIAs from across the country was asked to share their views on the economic outlook for their firms and the advisor market in general. The margin of error in this survey is ±4.4%. This means that in 19 cases out of 20, survey results based on 502 respondents will differ by no more than 4.4 percentage points in either direction from what would have been obtained by seeking the opinions of all eligible RIAs.

About Maritz
St. Louis-based Maritz is a sales and marketing services company, which helps companies achieve their full potential through understanding, enabling, and motivating employees, channel partners, and customers. Maritz provides market and customer research, communications, learning solutions, incentive initiatives, rewards and recognition, effective meeting, event and incentive travel management services, and customer loyalty programs. For more information, visit http://www.maritz.com or contact us at 1-877-4MARITZ.

About TD Ameritrade Institutional
TD Ameritrade Institutional1 is a leading provider of comprehensive brokerage and custody services to over 4,000 fee-based, independent registered investment advisors and their clients. Our advanced technology platform, coupled with personal support from our dedicated service teams, allows investment advisors to run their practices more efficiently and effectively while optimizing time with clients.

About TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation
Millions of investors and independent registered investment advisors (RIAs) have turned to TD Ameritrade’s (NYSE: AMTD) technology, people and education to help make investing and trading easier to understand and do. Online or over the phone. In a branch or with an independent RIA. First-timer or sophisticated trader. Our clients want to take control, and we help them decide how - bringing Wall Street to Main Street for more than 36 years. An official sponsor of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, TD Ameritrade has time and again been recognized as a leader in investment services. Please visit the TD Ameritrade’s newsroom or http://www.amtd.com for more information.

Brokerage services provided by TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA (http://www.FINRA.org) /SIPC (http://www.SIPC.org) /NFA (http://www.nfa.futures.org)

1TD Ameritrade Institutional, a division of TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC/NFA, a broker dealer subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation.

Maritz, Inc. and TD Ameritrade, Inc. are separate, unaffiliated companies and are not responsible for each other's products and services.
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