Top bank advisers: How they measure up

Published
  • November 30 2016, 2:30pm EST
Next week, we'll unveil our annual top bank advisers ranking. In the meantime, we’ve illustrated a hypothetical average adviser on our list. Our list uses several different variables (not just AUM or 12-month production) so while we feel it is a well-rounded consideration of an adviser's business, it's purely a quantitative measure and does not reflect the strength of client relationships. But on those quantitative metrics, here you can see how you measure up to the best in the bank channel. -- Lee Conrad

Next week, we'll unveil our annual top bank advisers ranking. In the meantime, we’ve illustrated a hypothetical average adviser on our list. Our list uses several different variables (not just AUM) so while we feel it is a well-rounded consideration of an adviser's business, it's purely a quantitative measure and does not reflect the strength of client relationships. But on those quantitative metrics, here you can see how you measure up to the best in the bank channel. -- Lee Conrad

Assets under management, just part of our ranking, has remained fairly consistent over the years at about $200 million per adviser. The range is wide, though, with a few in the $400 million range, and a couple as low as the $60 million area.

Content Continues Below

The average top adviser had a healthy increase in AUM at 15%. Those with lower AUM levels generally had larger percentage increases as would be expected. But some with very small percentage increases still made the list if the other metrics were high enough.

Annual production is where our top advisers separate themselves from the pack as the average person on our list is a million-dollar producer. This has increased over the years, partly due to a rising level of fee business, which is also part of our ranking.

The increase in production is relatively low, which makes sense given the average base they are starting from is more than $1 million. Still, those in the upper echelons found a way to generate some increase in business.

Content Continues Below

Fee business is one of the most important considerations in the industry today when determining the strength of an adviser's business. As such, we have increased the weight of this metric over the years. This year, it was one of the top three variables, counting as much as trailing-12 production and percentage increases in AUM.

Experience counts, as one might expect in an industry that depends on relationships. Most of these advisers are not lifers, however, which is also no big surprise given the need to adapt to major changes facing the channel. The average adviser on our list has been on the job for 12 years, and in the industry for almost 18 years.

This is the first time we've asked this question, and despite the obvious subjective nature of ranking one's self, it appears that most bank advisers feel ready for the fiduciary rule. Some even scored themselves at 10, the highest mark. Although a few others gave themselves a score of 5.