As advisors in financial institutions built their practices, they acquired clients referred by branch staff.  In retrospect, most of them acquired too many clients.  Too many to serve well, and so many that they became obstacles to the advisor’s efforts to grow revenue and assets.  That is why a common objective of investment sales managers in banks and credit unions is to encourage advisors to cull their books, freeing them to focus on the most productive clients and prospects.  Unfortunately, that effort is not succeeding.


According to last year’s Kehrer Group benchmarking surveys, the average number of client households served by an advisor actually inched up from 420 to 431.


Credit unions are making better progress than banks on thinning the client books of their advisors, despite their mantra of serving all members. But, like banks, they can still serve clients divested by their original advisor through a new advisor hire, or through advisor extenders—advisors-in-training, licensed branch staff, an investment call center, or a digital advice platform.



The Kehrer Group benchmarking surveys of investment services in financial institutions have been conducted every year since 1991. For the past several years, the findings have been published in three separate studies reflecting the structure of the delivery of financial advice in financial institutions – bank-owned Broker Dealers, regional and community banks that partner with third party BDs, and credit unions. 132 banks and credit unions participated in last year’s survey.  This year’s survey, about the 2023 experience, is currently in progress.  Let’s see if firms have reversed the upward creep in the size of advisors’ books.