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Recruitment activity was strong in the first half of 2017. Despite planned hiring cutbacks at three wirehouses, everything has been up: the number of recruits, the assets involved, and the number of big recruits.

“I have seen more big teams and big producers moving than last year, and I don’t see that slowing down,” says Rob Blevins, president of recruiting firm Rowlett. An aging adviser population, where the average age is between 50 and 60, also means that some brokers may be making one last career change.

Regulatory uncertainty has been an additional factor.

“The landscape has changed dramatically this year, primarily through the DoL’s FAQ last year on the fiduciary rule.” says Mickey Wasserman, president of recruiting firm Michael Wasserman & Associates. The Labor Department's FAQ provided additional regulatory guidance and said that transition deals could be a potential source for conflicts of interest.

Meanwhile, the breakaway movement has been a driving force in 2017. More assets flowed to independent firms in the firm half of 2017 than any six-month periods in the previous three years, On Wall Street found after analyzing recruiting data.

“Independence is going to continue to be strong,” says Blevins.

Overall, recruiters expect advisers to keep moving.

“If you are an adviser that’s considering to move, right now is a good time,” Blevins says, “The deals are still strong. The market is still high. There is never a perfect time but now is pretty good.”

Scroll through to see which firms have found favor with advisers and what new recruitment trends are developing.

Data is based on announced hires at wirehouse, regional and other firms as of June 29, 2017. It does not include independent to independent moves.


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