Over the past several years, big brokerage firms have become more risk averse, creating an incongruence between advisors who want to provide a customized experience for their clients and compliance departments that continually want to tighten the box around them. Advisors at big firms have found themselves in a world driven by a zero-tolerance culture, where compliance departments rule with a heavy hand and management is focused on the lowest common denominator.
This increasingly hypercompliant environment has resulted in many examples of top advisors who were terminated with cause for things that in the not-too-distant past might have been handled with just a warning.
While the headlines focus on the terminated advisors, few conversations discuss the partners and teams they leave behind—for whom the termination creates a wave of disruption to the business and concern over their own potential vulnerabilities. They’re left wondering what their exposure is, what the clients will say and how they’ll be able to move their own careers forward.