Recruiting millennial advisors to your RIA: The future is now

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A few post mortems on the annual MarketCounsel Summit have been written in the days and weeks following the early December conference. Now that the RIA industry insider event is more than a month in the rearview mirror, it appears that little has been said of one of the predominant themes of the conference:  recruiting millennial advisors.

There is no shortage of advice for RIAs on marketing to the millennial generation, and financial services firms are increasingly catering to the next generation of wealth builders. While it’s vital to devote an increased share of business development efforts on the generation, it’s just as important to be actively cultivating millennial talent internally, as well.

So, among my colleagues who attended the event with me, we collectively agreed that the focus on adding millennial talent was an appropriate theme at the ninth annual MarketCounsel Summit. The message was clear: millennials must be a part of your team in order to propel your firm forward.

Gregory FCA’s staff is driven by millennial talent, and the generation will play a significant role in guiding our firm into the future. Understanding this generation and how to provide an engaging workplace dynamic has served us well, and this insight has the potential to serve the financial sector well, too. But reaching millennials and providing a workplace they can thrive in can be an arduous task. Here is what RIAs need to know about millennials to attract and retain their talent and safeguard your firm’s future:

  1. Millennials value proper training and ongoing skill development. Millennials are on the move. LinkedIn analyzed its extensive career data and concluded that most millennials will change jobs four times in their first decade out of school, and MarketCounsel speaker Beth Choulas of Fidelity Investments referred to millennials as the “liquid workforce,” due to their propensity to change careers quickly. Tapping into this mindset and providing new and exciting opportunities for growth within your firm will be key to limiting turnover. Millennials are also seeking proactive skill development and formalized training offerings. They need to know what they are doing – and why – to thrive. Making these offerings available to millennial employees can help add some stickiness to your workplace.
  2. Millennials have innate technological acumen and you can capitalize on it. Technology is truly changing how businesses operate, and it’s exciting to see the financial services world use tech tools to optimize their business practices and client relationship management. Millennials are the first generation to have grown up with technology, and they know exactly how to use it. If you provide them the right tools, a concentration of tech-savvy millennials will help advance your firm’s technology foothold, and can even lead the charge on training employees firmwide.
  3. Millennial women will be difference makers for your firm. Women’s increased share of wealth has been loudly touted, and the BMO Wealth Institute expects it to reach $22 trillion by 2020. According to 2016 BLS data, only 31 percent of advisors were female, yet several studies have concluded that women investors tend to want to work with women advisors. The financial services industry needs to make significant strides to welcome more women to the workforce, and millennial women offer a unique value proposition as they have the ability to reach young and female investors.
  4. Millennials live in a globally-connected world. RIAs will never lose their client-centric mentality, but as the world evolves and becomes more connected, new ways of interacting with clients will emerge. In other words, your clients may not always want to meet face-to-face. They’re unlikely to abandon you for the robo-approach, but they are seeking a new normal in your relationship. Millennials are equipped to offer your clients the holistic planning they seek, and they are comfortable with the balance between personal and electronic interactions. This is going to make all the difference in expanding your firm to work with different clients.

Properly staffing and training your millennial talent base will make the single biggest difference in how your firm operates and its ability to remain competitive moving forward. Fostering your millennial talentpool should be top of mind heading into the new year.