Demand for autonomy and control was the biggest force pushing advisors to jump to a competing broker-dealer or to cross to the RIA market, data from Cerulli Associates shows.

While the independent and hybrid RIA channels have benefited the most from the breakaways, other broker-dealers with reputations for flexibility also gained from the defections last year, the research firm says in a report published this week.

Among broker-dealers, Cerulli says the gainers were typically those with compliance policies that do not manage to the lowest common denominator and those that ensure joining advisors keep ownership of client relationships.

Scroll down for the rundown of reasons advisors switched firms last year.

“A large element of a firm’s culture, as experienced by the advisor, includes the level of autonomy they enjoy, particularly in terms of the level of control the advisor has over operating their practice in the areas of marketing and communications with both clients and prospects,” the report notes.

Concerns over corporate culture served as another strong impetus for advisors who chose to leave broker-dealers.

Cerulli cites factors like pressure to sell banking and other products, a lack of input on strategic decisions, and questions over change in ownerships among the key elements that advisors evaluate when describing culture.

“These elements of the advisor experience at a B-D affect the quality of life and the general satisfaction that advisors experience in their roles,” the research firm states. “It therefore makes sense that this general experience of working at a B-D firm would be a significant factor determining advisor satisfaction and a driving factor for their desire to remain affiliated.”

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