The job market remained stagnant this year, both for advisors and wholesalers, according to Russell Reynolds’ wealth management recruitment and compensation trends report.

While there was some hiring in the retail investment space, this was primarily a result of firms replacing people who were displaced during the past two years.

Compensation trends are equally flat for everyone except the highest producers. Most advisors aren’t yet back to their pre-2008 income levels and most new recruits’ first-year deals are falling well short of their 2007 peak.

However, things are at least moving in the right direction in terms of asset growth and that should make for a brighter and more profitable 2011, the report said.

To stand a better chance to be part of that upward trajectory, advisors should position themselves as retirement income specialists, both in front of clients and potential employers, advises George Wilbanks, a managing director at the recruiting firm in New York. “There’s no question that there’s a dramatic change on the product side from asset accumulation as a methodology to stable lifetime income,” he said. “The evolution away from a returns-based product sale to a solutions-based sale of lifetime income is a major theme” for many banks the firm works with.


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