The latest in Advisor Compensation Research

As advisor compensation models continue to evolve it’s critical to stay abreast of the current trends.

The Kehrer Bielan 2018 Advisor Compensation Study consists of an analysis of trends in the structure and payouts for compensation plans of firms of all sizes, representing the majority of advisors in our industry.

The Advisor Compensation Study, from Kehrer Bielan Research and Consulting, has been the definitive industry resource on advisor compensation for years. The study originated in 2012, updated in 2015, with the most recent version available today.

In order to most accurately reflect the shifting dynamics of the financial advisor compensation market, KBR&C first selected banks with in-house broker-dealers, and then added to their database organizations displaying well-developed plans who employ third party brokers. All told, the study details seventy-plus unique plans from over fifty of the largest firms employing the most advisors.

Advisor Compensation Data Chart


Compensation Plans

Advisor Production

Production Period



The 2018 study provides direction to firms:

  • Needing to know how their compensation schedule stacks up to the industry for both retention and new hires;
  • Under cost pressure to either justify what advisors earn or to find compensation plan savings; or
  • Those looking to improve advisor performance with better plan design, and paying for the right activities.

The study answers those questions, backed up by details on:

  • Base salaries, forgivable and non-forgivable draw amounts
  • Grid levels and breakpoints used in commission plans
  • Effective payout an advisor earns at different production ranges
  • Commission plans for Senior Advisors and Second Story Advisors
  • Six critical special incentive enhancements designed to drive behavior
  • Seven new reward elements of compensation plans for firms to consider implementing
  • A spreadsheet identifying the components and levels of all plans

How advisors are paid can either make or break a business. The foundation of a successful incentive compensation plan is built on strategic planning and benchmarking. Now’s the time to begin researching and designing your advisor compensation plans for the upcoming year.

Advisor Compensation Data Chart

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