Edward Jones saw its advisor roster jump 331 or 1.8% to 18,505 FAs in the last quarter compared to the prior quarter and an addition of 1,184 or 6.8% compared to the same period in 2018.
“The Partnership ended the third quarter of 2019 with 18,505 financial advisors and $1.27 trillion in client assets under care, both increases of 7% compared to the end of the third quarter of 2018. Net new assets were $14 billion during the third quarter of 2019 compared to $16 billion in the third quarter of 2018,” Edward Jones said in an SEC filing Thursday.
Big recruitment came with a big price — especially since the firm saw higher compensation and benefits spending in Q3.
“Financial advisor compensation and benefits expense increased 5% and 7% in the third quarter and first nine months of 2019, respectively, due to an increase in revenues on which commissions are earned, growth in the number of financial advisors and an increase in compensation related to supporting new financial advisors and trainees,” the SEC filing reads.
Recruiting more advisors isn't the only thing Edward Jones is spending money on. Compensation and benefits also increased for home office and branch executives.
According to the filing, “home office and branch compensation increased due to an increase in the number of personnel to support increased client activity, firm initiatives to enhance the client experience, and growth of the Partnership’s financial advisor network, as well as higher wages.”
Edward Jones has no plans to slow down the momentum it has built in this area.
“The Partnership’s longer term strategy is to continue to grow its financial advisor network at a faster pace than its home office staff. The Partnership expects branch expenses to increase in the near term as new financial advisors obtain branch offices and incur additional expenses,” says the Edward Jones filing.
The firm has been aggressively recruiting experienced advisors — especially from wirehouses — in the recent past. Although it is not interested in larger teams, it hopes to attract a mix of experienced industry advisors as well as mid-career changers who transition to becoming FAs, company execs have said in the past.
Edward Jones recently rebranded its recruitment team after a key member, Katherine Mauzy, who headed recruitment for experienced advisors retired in September.