Bank advisor productivity hit its lowest level of the year when it dropped 14% to $14,712 in November from October’s $17,437.
“That’s just ugly,” says Heywood Sloane, a managing director at the Bank Insurance and Securities Association, which produces the monthly benchmarking report these numbers are culled from. Platform rep productivity fell 13% from $821 to $716 over the same period last year.
Several timing factors made the numbers worse than they would have been otherwise. First, fees on managed accounts are paid quarterly and as a result bolstered the numbers for October. Second, November is a holiday month—the nation practically shuts down for a week surrounding Thanksgiving, meaning advisors have less time in the month to sell.
That’s true for December, as well, and Sloane expects similarly meager results for the month when they’re released mid-February. “They’re a reflection of the impact of the holiday stretch,” he says.
But Sloane notes that optimism among advisors, based on monthly informal polls BISA conducts, is heading up. Three-fourths of advisors expected to do the same or better in December than they did in November (the final numbers will be released in mid-February). And advisors expect client demand to shift toward equities and away from bonds in 2010.