The competition for Main Street investors is heating up. Here's Wall Street's playbook for capturing more financial advisors and clients.

One of the biggest focuses for wealth management firms in the last few years is how to best bring in fresh financial advisor talent.

Around one-third of the industry, or some 111,500 advisors, will retire within the next decade, the industry research firm Cerulli Associates said in a February report. Meanwhile, traditional wealth managers are grappling with how to better attract and keep younger people through their rigorous advisor training programs.

The coronavirus pandemic has also accelerated the issue for firms as it has not only triggered more advisors to consider their mortality and think about who will take on their clients, but has also caused firms to review their training programs amid remote work challenges. 

Maintaining a strong pipeline of talent is a matter of survival for the profession that's aging and already under pressure from purely digital startups. And it's key to holding onto client assets that would otherwise fly out the door with exiting advisors.

Adding to the industry's urgency are big growth plans. Wall Street firms and beyond are expanding or adding financial planning and money-management services as stock-picking and investing advice alone is largely being automated out. 

Here's the latest on how the industry is adapting to its many pressures, from hiring plans to tech revamps. 

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Recruitment plans

  • 7 top execs and recruiters behind Wall Street's turf war over wealth talent at firms like Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, and UBS
  • JPMorgan could double its advisor force, hiring as many as 4,000, as it eyes ambitions plans to catch up to rivals, says wealth boss Kristin Lemkau
  • 9 top financial adviser recruiters to know right now who have moved wealth teams managing billions
  • Greg Fleming's $43 billion Rockefeller Capital has hired 19 adviser teams from top wealth firms in 7 months. Execs lay out where it's focused next.
  • A financial-adviser retirement wave that could put trillions of assets in play is kicking into high gear thanks to the pandemic. Here's how firms are tackling the handover crisis.
  • Wealth managers could save millions in costs from a snappier recruitment process. An analyst lays out the 3 firms that could benefit most.
  • Greg Fleming's Rockefeller Capital is building up its Washington presence by luring junior talent and veteran advisers from the biggest wealth managers

Advisor training programs

  • How JPMorgan's Kristin Lemkau is planning to turbocharge the firm's $500 billion wealth business, from a rebrand and ramping up advisor training to new tech
  • Morgan Stanley is putting the brakes on hiring junior financial advisors. Here's how the massive wealth manager plans to close out the year.
  • The head of Merrill Lynch's training program, the firm's main talent pipeline, is leaving as the business grapples with remote work. Here are the challenges that await her successor.
  • A leaked memo shows Bank of America's Merrill Lynch is dealing with 'many' violations by financial adviser trainees working from home, so it's paused their reach-outs to new clients
  • The ultimate guide to getting hired as a financial adviser trainee at Morgan Stanley, UBS, and Merrill Lynch, and how to succeed in their ultra-competitive training programs
  • Merrill Lynch is shifting how it handles staff who drop out of its financial-adviser trainee program, and it highlights the industry's evolving career paths
  • Merrill Lynch hiked starting salaries for trainee advisers by $10,000 and has taken on 1,700 newbies so far this year. We have the details.
  • Merrill Lynch is about to launch a new training program for 6,500 client associates — and it shows how the role of full-fledged financial adviser is quickly evolving


  • These 10 early-stage wealth startups are on the brink of breaking out, according to top VCs
  • See the 13-page pitch deck that DriveWealth, a fintech that powers trading and investing apps, used to nab $57 million from investors like Point72 Ventures
  • Pain points around onboarding new clients and remote transactions are causing wealth firms to lose clients and talent. Here's how they can improve.
  • Tech is now essential in the battle to recruit and keep wealth talent. Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley execs gave us their pitch.
  • UBS's Americas private-wealth head says he thinks losing a 'few hundred' advisers would not be a bad thing, and is looking at how robos can help keep the bank's richest clients
  • AI will transform wealth management in the coming decade. These are the skills human advisers will need to stay relevant, according to 8 top wealth execs.
  • The new head of Wells Fargo's massive wealth arm explains why human financial advisers should embrace roboadvisers, not fear them
  • The head of innovation for TD Ameritrade's 7,000 adviser clients thinks virtual assistants and holograms will be must-have wealth tech by 2030
  • Here's what financial advisers say is the most overhyped wealth tech, and which tools they think will actually help them in the next 5 years

 Transitioning assets to the new generation

  • A financial-adviser retirement wave that could put trillions of assets in play is kicking into high gear thanks to the pandemic. Here's how firms are tackling the handover crisis.
  • Merrill Lynch just overhauled client-retention incentives for retiring advisers. An internal memo said it will hike payouts and subsidize handovers starting in 2021.
  • Wells Fargo is seeing more adviser retirements after an 'enthusiastic' response to its next-gen handover payouts
  • Meet 6 up-and-coming financial advisers at Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, and Merrill Lynch who are managing big money and navigating a cutthroat industry

Learn more about the financial services industry.

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