The ascendency of fee-based compensation in the IBD space continues and independent reps now make less than half their compensation from commissions. Today, some 48 percent of an independent advisor’s compensation comes from asset-based fees.
Some firms are more fee-centric than others. Cambridge Investment Research advisors reported earning 67 percent of their income from fees, while Raymond James advisors earned 69 percent, up from the 57 percent a year ago. Advisors at more than a third of the firms surveyed, including LPL Financial, NFP Advisor Services and Wells Fargo’s FiNet, earn more than half of their income from fees.
Still, some firms remain firmly commission-based shops. SagePoint Financial advisors earn almost 69 percent of their income from commissions, while Cetera advisors say they earn about 57 percent of their income from commissions.
Advisors expect the shift from commission to fee-based business will continue to grow. They predict asset-based fees will account for 55.4 percent of their business by 2015.