Financial Advisor Career Growth
Find Your Niche in the Financial Industry
ICM has proven to be one of the leading recruiting firms in the financial services industry for over 29 years. We believe in grooming talented individuals into trusted professionals for a life-long career as a financial advisor. When joining our firm, advisors can choose between our two distinct business models: Employee Model and Independent Model.
Employees receive a generous compensation package and benefits including medical, dental, vision and disability insurance, 401(k) with matching, tuition reimbursement for CFP®designation, company ownership through stock options, and the opportunity to qualify for business conferences.
We provide all the initial training to obtain industry licenses, followed by ongoing continuing education and advanced training to elevate your career.Your managers will be your mentors and are responsible for taking the time to make sure you have the skills, tools, resources, and support to achieve success.From collaboration on marketing initiatives, to client meeting assistance, through plan design and implementation, your mentoring manager will guide you every step of the way.
Our turnkey training, along with proven marketing initiatives, can help you take your career to the next level.Advisors can leverage our advanced planning team’s knowledge and expertise to provide a higher level of service and more comprehensive financial planning solutions for their clients.
We work with advisors to enhance their current skills and knowledge and coach them expand into more advanced planning solutions for various client demographics.
ICM provides the benefit of being affiliated with a private, boutique firm, combined with the back-office support of Osaic, one of the largest independent broker-dealers in the United States. Transition bonuses and administrative support are available to qualified advisors joining our team.
ICM offers a competitive opportunity to licensed and experienced advisors who have already been successful at building a book of business. Our target market for this model is strictly transitional advisors who are established in the industry and looking for a new firm to help take their business to the next level through comprehensive planning tools, marketing resources, advanced training, and compliance support.
ICM also recruits branches or agencies that are looking for an independent OSJ structure with an independent broker-dealer.Established advisors and branch offices can leverage our business relationships and compensation contracts to expand their revenue earning opportunities. You can take your business to the next level by taking advantage of our technology resources, marketing tools, trading platforms, advanced planning team members and affiliation discounts.
Our Management Career Path was developed as a leadership and career advancement program for our advisors.This opportunity allows qualified individuals the opportunity to pursue a management career without climbing a corporate ladder of seniority, at a firm that is committed to promoting from within.
Our extensive management training program prepares you to learn all the aspects of running a branch office so you can fill a senior management position in an existing branch, or open a new retail branch location for the firm. This is an excellent opportunity for a management-minded Financial Advisor with a desire to help train, manage, mentor, and develop the careers of other advisors.
The first step in getting the appropriate work experience is to check with your college. Often, the student services center or a guidance counselor may be able to provide you with local job listings, or actually set up interviews with potential employers. If this doesn’t work out, or if the position isn’t feasible because of your school schedule, consider approaching firms close to home on your own.
Obviously, we all like to be paid for our time, but consider working for free during your internship – that is, as long as you receive a letter of recommendation for your work from your supervisor. In the long run, this is the best compensation you can ask for and your first employer may even start you off in a higher position or at a higher salary because of your experience.
In general, if you are a persuasive and knowledgeable individual and don’t mind working long hours, a job as a registered representative might be a good fit. If on the other hand, you love numbers, are good at math and excel spreadsheets, and relish delving into the financials of a public company, then you might want to be an analyst. If you have both skill sets, a position as a financial advisor could suit you best.
Of course, it’s important to understand that most people who enter the brokerage industry don’t end their careers in the same position in which they begin. Most use the knowledge and experience they gain in their earlier jobs to find other positions that better suit their interests. Where you end up depends on your aptitude and your desire to explore different job options.
Twenty years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for individuals in the financial industry to come from varied backgrounds. These days, a four-year college degree is a must. Typically, a bachelor’s degree in business administration is the best course. It opens the most doors as well as gives the potential job applicant more alternatives should he or she want to deviate from his or her initial career path down the line.
If your goal is to become a registered representative and sell securities, you do not need a masters in business administration (MBA). However, if you want to break into some of the more prestigious firms’ training programs (such as Goldman Sachs), it will help to earn your MBA. As an analyst, it is rapidly becoming a must. Keep in mind that this is a highly competitive industry, and this additional degree will help set you apart from the crowd.
Internships are available for those who want to obtain positions as analysts, bankers, registered reps or virtually any other position on Wall Street. Therefore, in an undergraduate or a graduate program, it is important to try to land an internship in the field where you want to work. Prospective brokers and/or analysts should try to get a job as an assistant at a local firm. Employers look for this type of experience on your resume.
Obtaining securities licenses is almost sure to advance your career in the financial services industry. As a broker, you will need a Series 7 license and a Series 63 license. This will allow you to sell stocks, bonds, and other variable securities in both your home state and other states, assuming that you and your firm become registered in those states. Additional licenses may be required as you move up the corporate ladder. For instance, if you obtain a managerial position, you may be asked to obtain your Series 24, or principal’s license.
Your firm will sponsor you for these licenses. However, be forewarned: these exams are difficult and require a great deal of reading and memorization. Analysts may also be asked to take the above-mentioned examinations as well as a Series 16 supervisory analyst exam, which allows them to issue and distribute reports. Additional training may require the analyst to sit for the Chartered Financial Analyst(CFA) exam sessions. This series of three rigorous exams will test your financial knowledge and enable you to obtain higher-level advisory positions with hedge funds or mutual funds as a portfolio manager.
Many firms do not offer sophisticated training programs. When this is the case, the would-be broker or analyst typically starts as someone’s assistant. This is an entry-level position that will allow you to move up the ladder, depending on your aptitude and level of ambition.
There are also a large number of firms, particularly the larger bulge bracket companies that offer formal training programs, which can last for about a year and where your production, and/or progress is tracked and measured regularly against your peers. Often, these programs are very stressful, as they are typically considered your probationary period. The good news is that if you..
In some jobs, seniority is a major factor in moving up the corporate ladder. Although seniority might help you in your Wall Street job, typically only the smartest, most aggressive employees advance. This means that you must know your job and be diligent. You must also constantly measure yourself against your fellow employees to determine whether your skills measure up. This may mean staying late or putting in some extra work to make sure your projects are top notch.
Analysts seem to have the most career choices in the industry. They can become producing brokers and can even make the switch to becoming financial writers. Brokers can make those same switches, but it is much harder. This is because a broker is usually only involved in the sales process, and has little or no involvement in the research process. In addition, they often have very little opportunity to hone their writing skills, which is vital to becoming an analyst.
Many brokers eventually decide that they want to specialize in options, or become branch managers. In this case, their sales experience puts them on a better path to achieving that goal.
Breaking into the financial services industry isn’t too difficult, but building a career and earning a reputation as a savvy player is tough. You should expect the process to be mentally trying and time consuming. Succeeding and moving up the corporate ladder will depend on your desire to succeed and beat out increasingly stiff competition.