August 2013: Advisor Homepages

In this Broker Monitor Report, we reviewed three advisor homepages in each of three major U.S. cities – New York, Chicago and Los Angeles – with a total of nine homepages reviewed for each firm. For this cross-sectional sample, we primarily reviewed individual advisor pages; however, we also took team pages into consideration. Specifically, this report focuses on the following:

  • The design and organization of the advisor homepages.
  • Quantity and quality of the information provided on the advisor homepages.
  • Resources provided directly on or accessible from the advisor homepages.

All eight full-service firms on the
Broker Monitor roster provide standalone homepages for their financial advisors. The most common way to position FA homepages is through standalone sitelets, a model used by all but three firms, which instead incorporate homepages within the main public site.

 

The depth of content, however, varies considerably. All eight firms allow their advisors to post bio pictures, although some allow advisors to opt out. Educational background, professional designations or other credentials and areas of financial planning focus are common to all but one of the firm advisor homepages. The advisor homepages offered by every firm except one include the FA’s direct email address. Several firms also look to social media platforms as a way for prospective clients to connect with advisors. Currently, advisor homepages at four firms that we reviewed provide links to an advisor’s Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter pages.

 

Many of the advisor homepages that we reviewed serve as hubs for current market information and research content. Advisor homepages at six of the firms that we reviewed display market data or rates. Advisors at all firms, however, highlight and post proprietary research and commentaries on their respective homepages.

 

 

Additional key findings include:

  • Nearly 90% of firms we reviewed offer advisor team or branch homepages, in addition to individual advisor pages.
  • Three firms allow users to navigate from branch/team to individual but not vice versa.
  • Only one firm features advisor homepages which provide referral forms.
  • Advisor homepages form four firms include recent or current company newsletter.
  • Only 50% of firms we reviewed featured advisor homepages that include links to tools or calculators.