Cerulli Study Shows Implications a Firm Partner Can Have on Efficiency, Highlights Commonwealth


Waltham, MA (January 3, 2021)—Commonwealth Financial Network®, a national firm dedicated to providing advisor-focused business solutions, published a time allocation study. The study revealed that, on average, advisors who join its firm run a more efficient practice and have more client-facing time than their counterparts at wirehouses. It also showed that they can maintain—and even improve—efficiencies as they grow.

The study, completed in collaboration with Cerulli Associates, compared responses from 993 Commonwealth advisors to more than 1,500 advisors across the industry, both captive and those at independent firms. According to the findings, Commonwealth advisors are able to spend 58 percent more face-to-face time with their clients than wirehouse advisors. In addition, Commonwealth advisors spent 28 percent less time on compliance tasks and 22 percent less time on investment research than those working at wirehouses.

This study reflects the efforts we’ve made to help our advisors optimize their firms to drive growth.
Kenton Shirk, vice president, practice management

“At Commonwealth, we think of ourselves as time merchants,” said Andrew Daniels, managing principal, business development. “Our main objective is to do whatever it takes to give advisors more time back so they can spend it focusing on their clients. This study is a testament to our continued efforts to make it easier for them to do business. And it shows that, with us, the burden of running a business isn’t that much of a burden.”

The study also confirmed that, as Commonwealth advisors grow their business, they are able to build economies of scale and become more efficient in running their practice. While those advisors with less than $25 million in assets under management spent 46 percent of their time on client-facing activities, that number jumped to 60 percent for advisors with more than $500 million.

“We work with many advisors who reach an inflection point in the growth of their business,” said Kenton Shirk, vice president, practice management. “This can happen as firms evolve organically and the advisors become overextended and wear too many hats. Our consulting team is here to offer advice on how to pivot, so they can achieve economies of scale and avoid a growth ceiling. This study reflects the efforts we’ve made to help our advisors optimize their firms to drive growth.”

About Commonwealth Financial Network® 

Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser, provides a suite of business solutions that empowers more than 2,000 independent financial advisors nationwide. J.D. Power ranks Commonwealth “#1 in Independent Advisor Satisfaction Among Financial Investment Firms, Eight Times in a Row.” Privately held since 1979, the firm has headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts, and San Diego, California. Learn more about Commonwealth by visiting www.commonwealth.com.

Commonwealth received the highest score in the independent advisor segment of the J.D. Power 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 Financial Advisor Satisfaction Studies of customers' satisfaction among financial advisors. Visit jdpower.com/awards.


Hi, I'm Jacquelyn, director of corporate communications at Commonwealth.

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