John Hancock Investment Management is aiming to reach more financial advisors with the rollout of a hybrid wholesaler desk, according to news reports.

The company previously only relied on the firm’s external wholesalers, who typically worked with top producers, FA-IQ sister publication Ignites writes. The firm realized it could reach more advisors with its own desk and launched a pilot two years ago with one hybrid wholesaler, Jeff Duckworth, the firm’s head of intermediary distribution, tells Ignites. It then formally launched the desk at the start of the year, when it added five more wholesalers, according to the publication.

“To me, the biggest takeaway is we’re now getting engagement with advisors that we simply were not getting in front of otherwise,” Duckworth tells Ignites.

The new hybrid team focuses on advisors who “were maybe not hitting the analytics” to attract the attention of the firm’s 61 external wholesalers, he says, according to the publication. The hybrid team now works with such advisors independently from the external wholesalers, Duckworth tells Ignites.

“Most of these financial advisors that we’re contacting are not over-wholesaled,” Duckworth says, according to the publication. “We’re providing great value to these financial advisors that maybe they’re not getting from other wholesalers, because they’re not seen as much.”

More firms have been turning to hybrid wholesalers in recent years, Pat Newcomb, Fuse Research director of benchmark research, told Ignites last year. External wholesalers normally work with 200 to 300 advisors who have large books of business, he said, according to the publication. Hybrids and internal sales desks, meanwhile, have the ability to reach more advisors, according to Newcomb, Ignites writes.

According to a November report from Fuse, firms employed an average of 4.6 full-time hybrid wholesalers in 2019, while firms with $50 billion in assets had an average of 6.8 hybrid wholesalers, the publication writes. Meanwhile, a quarter of the firms intend to bring on more hybrid wholesalers in 2020, Fuse found, according to Ignites.

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