As baby boomer financial advisors retire, millennials set to be solid replacements

Financial buy-side hiring is set to experience an uptick over the coming years as an increasing number of baby boomers reach retirement age.

The population of Americans who are 65 years of age or older has already seen a sharp increase over the past decade, from 35 million in 2000 to 41.4 million in 2011, according to the 2012 Profile of Older Americans put together by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging (AoA) – and this 18 percent spike is just the beginning. Per the AoA’s report, the number of people aged 65+ is projected to increase to 79.7 million by 2040.

Of course, not all boomers will be willing – or, for that matter, able – to retire after their 65th birthdays.

“For a lot of people, they literally need to work,” Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, director of the Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College, told U.S. News & World Report. “Work has also increasingly become connected with the sense of the meaning of life and the purpose of life.”

Indeed, the source notes, Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicated that approximately 18.5 percent of Americans 65 years of age or older were still members of the labor force last year. However, it’s safe to assume that a high enough proportion of boomers will still leave the workforce in the coming years to warrant a significant hiring effort to replace them.

How will this churn affect financial services?

Companies in the financial services industry might have reservations about bringing in new blood from the millennial generation, also known as Generation Y. Earlier this year, TIME magazine characterized millennials as “the me me me generation” in an issue with cover art that featured a Gen Y girl using her smartphone to take a “selfie.” However, a Fidelity study revealed that Gen Y financial advisors – along with their older colleagues in Generation X – are actually more successful than boomers, Forbes reports.

Specifically, advisors in Gen X and Gen Y have an average of $8 million more in client assets under management, handle nearly 60 percent more assets and garner three times the number of satisfied-client referrals, researchers found.

“Younger advisors, it seems, just have more hustle when it comes to attracting new business,” wrote Forbes contributor J. Maureen Henderson.

What’s more, much of this so-called hustle is being cultivated through stereotypically millennial pursuits, such as relying on technology to accomplish routine tasks and using social networking and other online channels to market themselves on the web.

Johnson noted that one institution – Florida Tropical Credit Union – even went as far as to seek out a millennial face of its brand (via an online campaign, of course) in a bid to make its services seem more appealing to Gen Y-ers.

So what does this mean for financial advisors and the executive search services helping them scope out potential candidates to replace boomers approaching retirement? In short, don’t fear millennials, because they have a lot to give.

About Caldwell Partners

Caldwell Partners is a leading international provider of executive search and has been for more than 40 years. As one of the world’s most trusted advisors in executive search, the firm has a sterling reputation built on successful searches for boards, chief and senior executives, and selected functional experts. With offices and partners across North America and in London, the firm takes pride in delivering an unmatched level of service and expertise to its clients.

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