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Bill Willis - Financial Recruiting FirmMerrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, UBS and Wells Fargo—need to pay close attention to two areas in order to boost their market share: profitability and financial advisor compensation.

“The need for the large firms to increase their hold on the market comes as studies increasingly show these firms losing their grasp. Just one-third of advisor moves now are from wirehouse to wirehouse, according to Aite Group, with about one fourth of all of financial advisors eyeing a move toward independence. And even more startling is the survey prediction by industry research group Cerulli Associates that wirehouses will lose 7% market share in the next three years.”*

The wirehouses have already started to climb back, but each has their own challenges. Bill Willis, president and CEO of Willis Consulting, a finance industry recruiting firm in Palos Verdes Estates, CA told Lorie Konish, reporting for OnWallStreet.com, that he sees Morgan Stanley facing the most challenges as it works to boost post-merger advisor satisfaction in the coming year. [pullquote]They can be most active where it pays to be most active[/pullquote]

Wells Fargo, meanwhile, is quietly in a strategic position, he said, to grow all sides of its brokerage business that also include the bank and independent sides. “They can be most active where it pays to be most active,” Willis said.

And from another viewpoint, “Ultimately beyond 2013, the long-term competition among the wealth management firms will not be settled by recruiting success, but by how well they can solve the key dilemma facing the industry now—replacing an aging advisory force.” *Read the full report.