Four Reasons Advisors Change Firms


Advisors who change their broker/dealer affiliation are typically leaving what they consider less-than-stellar career situations for a firm that will increase both their professional success and personal happiness. If you feel like your firm could be doing more for you, take a look at the four most common reasons advisors leave their broker/dealers, and consider which of them apply to you: culture, compensation, control and challenge.


  • An advisor may be pursuing or want to pursue a niche market, targeting clients based on their lifestyles or investable assets, for instance.
  • These advisors need a firm that will support such an endeavor through sophisticated technology, marketing support or targeted services.
  • They may be dissatisfied with their firm’s culture due to the effects of a broker/dealer merger or acquisition.
  • Some advisors join independent broker/dealers or smaller regional firms because they want more control over their careers instead of feeling like just another number at a large wirehouse.


  • An advisor may feel that their commissions or fees fail to meet their expectations because of a subpar work environment.
  • These advisors may believe that their firms, teams or supervisors are not supportive enough, thus limiting their full earning potential.
  • Most leave their current firms in pursuit of higher payouts, front money, signing bonuses, improved employee benefits, the ability to sell their books of business, or other forms of compensation.


  • Some advisors may want more flexibility in the types of financial products they can offer clients.
  • Others may not want to be restricted to a certain geographic area.
  • Some may feel they deserve to own their books of business, since they – not their firms – have built those relationships.
  • They may also want the flexibility to establish a brand for their business that is independent from their firm’s brand.


  • Some advisors prefer the responsibility of running their own businesses.
  • They want to handle all their administrative and managerial tasks, even choosing their office space and furniture.
  • Usually, only firms that facilitate truly independent advisor affiliations allow this.
  • There are advisors who may want or need more one-on-one time with their clients, and their current work environments – especially in cases where firms insist on pushing certain products – can impair such efforts.