Volatile markets that have sapped flows and shifting distribution models are creating a hostile work environment for many fund wholesalers who are finding themselves lighter in the wallet and sometimes out of work, according to industry observers.

While each fund company has a slightly different compensation structure, wholesalers' salaries are typically commission-based. And if industry-wide flows are any indication of what wholesalers are taking home in pay, they are not are not even close to making what they did last year, according to Investment Company Institute data. For the year, net new cash flow into stock mutual funds amounted to $48 billion dollars as of July. That is down from the $231 billion stock funds attracted for the same period the prior year.

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