This story first appeared in Financial Advisor IQ sister publication FundFire.
UBS is holding the line on 2023 compensation for its U.S.-based advisors, according to an internal memo seen by Barron’s Advisors.
Like its brokerage peers, UBS’ compensation plan has components of cash and deferred pay, with a traditional grid at its core.
However, UBS recently sweetened its recruiting deal by offering a higher up-front percentage of advisor’s trailing 12-month production — more than 300% plus reimbursement for unvested deferred compensation, said Louis Diamond, president of Diamond Consultants. The package included a significant salary component, which didn’t include any sort of “backend bonus, so the deal was fully guaranteed so long as the recruit stayed employed at UBS for 12 years,” Diamond told FundFire.
There doesn’t appear to be a consensus on how the major brokerages are handling next year’s payment plans, though big changes seem to be off the table.
The wirehouses are also increasingly focused on a fee-based revenue model from what was mainly a transactional one, Barron’s said.
Merrill Lynch is increasing its payment grid thresholds, leaving advisors to generate more revenue to collect the same pay. But the wirehouse is also eliminating an investment advisory policy that sees Merrill keep the first 3% of revenue an advisor earned each month, as reported.
Wells Fargo made slight changes to its compensation plan but left its core payments intact, with its current and 2023 plans paying advisors 22% for the first $13,500 in revenue they generate each month and a 50% rate for revenue that clears that hurdle.
The lack of big changes will likely appeal to advisors, a compensation consultant told Barron’s. “Most advisors prefer no changes whatsoever unless you’re going to introduce a new bonus,” said Andy Tasnady.