Pershing Study Finds That Financial Advisor Firms Must Transform Recruiting Models to Appeal to Generation Y

September 18, 2013

Survey of 500 college students reveals alignment between students' career desires and what the profession offers

JERSEY CITY, N.J.— Pershing LLC, a BNY Mellon company, today released its first-ever research report on college students' career priorities and their potential to become tomorrow's financial advisors. The study entitled, "ReGENeration: How Gen Y Could Revitalize the Industry and Bring New Life to Your Firm," was commissioned in response to the industry's talent crisis in the hopes of improving recruitment efforts. It is designed to help firms better understand college students' priorities when choosing a career, to identify students' trusted sources for information, and to gauge prospective graduates' familiarity with the financial advisor profession.

"The talent shortage in the advisory business becomes increasingly dire every year," said Kim Dellarocca, head of practice management and director of segment marketing at Pershing. "Gen Y has much more to offer than simply refilling the pipeline. They bring fresh perspectives, new ideas and modern skill sets that can help businesses prosper now and in the future. Given their contribution potential, it is critically important for the industry to better educate students about the benefits of pursuing a career in the advisory business."

Pershing's study, which was based on the data from a survey, conducted by Harris Interactive in May 2013, of 500 undergraduate students enrolled in full-time or part-time at four-year U.S. colleges, revealed that students career interests and goals are closely aligned to that of the growth path of an advisor.

The Pershing survey found that students want the following:

  •  88% agree they want to work in a career where a job cannot be outsourced
  •  90% agree that they want to work in a career that is in a growing field
  •  97% agree that they are willing to work hard to earn more money
  •  82% say that it’s important or very important to choose a career that has a positive impact on other people’s lives

Despite matching attitudes and desires, few graduates are actually entering the profession. One potential reason is that students are not learning much about the profession while in college. In fact, while almost all (96%) of the students surveyed said they have heard of financial advisors, only one quarter are familiar or very familiar with the profession, and just 7% are actually interested in pursuing it as a career.

To broaden the pool of recruits, both firms and the industry must engage with students and determine ways to develop a stronger presence in their lives early on, such as:

  •  Regular attendance at career fairs – be ready to engage students and be armed with tools that promote the benefits of being an advisor
  •  Deeper involvement with the children of clients and various centers of influence – extend social invitations to the whole family and encourage career discussions
  •  Internships – offer internships after freshman and sophomore years when students are ripe looking for career ideas to pursue. Graduate internships are crucial in providing a trial period for both the business and the graduate
  •  Outreach to professors and career counselors – offer networking opportunities and informational resources

To learn more tips on how to better recruit Gen Y financial advisors, download and read “ReGENeration: How Gen Y Could Revitalize the Industry and Bring New Life to Your Firm”.

About BNY Mellon's Pershing

BNY Mellon’s Pershing and its affiliates provide advisors, broker-dealers, family offices, hedge fund and ’40 Act fund managers, registered investment advisor firms and wealth managers with a broad suite of global financial business solutions. Many of the world’s most sophisticated and successful financial services firms rely on Pershing for clearing and custody, investment and retirement solutions, technology, enterprise data management, trading services, prime brokerage and business consulting.

Pershing helps clients improve profitability and drive growth, create capacity and efficiency, attract and retain talent, and manage risk and regulation. With a network of offices worldwide, Pershing provides business-to-business solutions to clients representing approximately 7 million investor accounts globally. Pershing LLC (member FINRA, NYSE, SIPC) is a BNY Mellon company. Additional information is available on, or follow us on Twitter @Pershing.

About BNY Mellon

BNY Mellon is a global investments company dedicated to helping its clients manage and service their financial assets throughout the investment lifecycle. Whether providing financial services for institutions, corporations or individual investors, BNY Mellon delivers informed investment management and investment services in 35 countries. As of June 30, 2019, BNY Mellon had $35.5 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration, and $1.8 trillion in assets under management. BNY Mellon can act as a single point of contact for clients looking to create, trade, hold, manage, service, distribute or restructure investments. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK). Additional information is available on Follow us on Twitter @BNYMellon or visit our newsroom at for the latest company news.