February 2013: Advisor Branding

This Broker Monitor Report looks at advisor branding – the ways that brokerage firms are putting their financial advisors’ “mark” on client communications. We looked at the online and offline experience, including the website, statements, confirmations and other firm mailings. In addition, we offer our recommendations for firms to consider.

One of our primary focuses in this report was financial advisor information on statements and confirmations, as these are generally the two most frequently mailed documents. We found that all firms highlighted in this report print financial advisor contact information on statements. Every firm in the report also prints advisor contact information on trade confirmations, but one firm limits the information to an address, and leaves off the advisor name.

We also focused on how advisor branding is done online. All firms except two offer ubiquitous links to advisor contact information on the private site. Two firms link to the advisor’s public site homepage from their private site contact pages. Five of the six firms in the report provide a private site page with advisor contact information.

When looking at the types of contact information available, we found that advisor phone numbers and mailing addresses are universal, four out of six firms provide an email address on statements and only two provide a fax number. One firm continues to include a fax number online.

Additional Key Findings:

  • Only one firm prints its advisor information on a mailed newsletter
  • Three firms include a photo of the advisor on their private site
  • Five firms provide the advisor’s phone number on the private site