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Feb 2

Advisor Succession to Family Office

Compared to the general population, financial advisors are a "ancient" bunch, with an average age in the mid-50s and a large proportion of advisors currently in their 60s and 70s. And as if that weren't enough of a risk for their clients, the COVID-induced recession means that many of them may depart sooner than expected – either voluntarily or involuntarily – and may choose to retire entirely in the current economic environment.

Possibly in reaction to both of these challenges, Merrill Lynch is attempting to change the age distribution of its adviser ranks. Larger wealth advisory firms, as opposed to smaller firms and single practitioners, are in a better position to construct succession plans for their advisers, as evidenced by the fact that they have more resources. However, this does not imply that they are doing so or that they are doing particularly well.

Approximately 37 percent of financial advisers in the United States are scheduled to retire this decade, and they account for approximately 39 percent of the wealth managed by advisors who serve the retail market.

This is a combination of key person and supply chain risk for families, and it must be addressed as soon as possible.

Consider the following: What are the most important relationships in your family's network of advisors? What is the contingency plan in the event that one of them departs, retires, or becomes ill with COVID? Have you and your family evaluated the hazards associated with all types of advisors?

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