The proportion of employers in financial planning groups intending to increase salaries has almost doubled in the past 12 months, according to the latest financial planning survey by recruitment firm The Dawson Partnership.
The survey follows another annual study by the firm, on hiring intentions, which also indicated a bullish period ahead for financial advisors. The proportion looking to increase staffing levels rose by 8 per cent.
On remuneration, the latest survey showed 23 per cent intended to increase staff salaries, compared with only 13 per cent last year. A total of 66 per cent intended to maintain salaries (last year 71 per cent) and only 5 per cent were looking to decrease salaries (11 per cent).
Sally Humphris of The Dawson Partnership said: ‘The 2015 survey recorded an increased emphasis on employers ensuring that they’re offering market-based remuneration, with respondents wanting to reward employees who had performed well…
“Respondents also believed that recruitment activity had increased in the first six months of the year and that they were aware that their best employees were being approached by competitors.
“Recruitment activity and a trend in remuneration increases were most notable in compliance/governance roles within advice businesses.”
In the aligned financial planner business model, an increase in remuneration, including bonuses, was cited principally from a growth in total funds under advice driven by the acquisition of individual financial planner practices, boosting remuneration in compliance and administration roles.
Those employees holding client service/ administration roles also fared well with increases in the range of 3-6 per cent. While salaried financial planners employed by institutions received, at-best, CPI increases, those employed by independent firms fared better, particularly those who contributed to the firm’s revenue growth, with increases upward of 4 per cent.
There was also an element of employers playing catch up where there was provision for employees who were identified as being paid below market or who had, at some stage during the year, taken on additional responsibilities and there had been no adjustment to their remuneration. At the upper end these employees received increases in the range of 6-10 per cent.
Partner Peter Dawson said: “We noted not only a positive change in sentiment of respondents in the 2015 survey, but that there is more emphasis on remuneration being viewed as an employee retention strategy. While there isn’t a war for talent as was evidenced in the lead up to the GFC we are seeing an upward trend in recruitment activity and an awareness by financial planning businesses that to retain their employees they need ensure they are remunerated in line with the market or they will face the possibility of losing them.”
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