Bluerating | May 2022

Every year FINER monitors the level of satisfaction of financial advisors (FINER® CF Explorer), private bankers (FINER® PB Explorer) and bank managers (FINER® BM Explorer) on over 40 variables.

Among them is the level of satisfaction with the remuneration package as perceived, with regard to both expectations in general and its several components.

In particular, fixed and variable remuneration, the incentive system, retention plans, non-competition agreements and corporate welfare benefits are analyzed in depth.

As to financial advisors, the survey measures their level of satisfaction with management fees, front fees, monetary and non-monetary contests, and retention plans.

When the level of satisfaction with remuneration and its components is below expectations, some wonder: “How is it that our employees are less satisfied than average, when we are the ones who pay the most!?”

It is important to underline that this kind of response concerns both banks and financial networks. That is, financial advisors, private bankers or bank managers devoted to the affluent segment.

The truthfulness of such claims is admittedly irrelevant. However, we could not resist the temptation of determining whether their surprise is based or not on factual data, that is the result of a true investigation on remuneration.

The answer is that their response is, at best, based either on numerically insignificant data or on the sporadic collection of competitor’s mandates.

The true issue is another. Even assuming that some banks or financial networks do pay their employees more than average despite the dissatisfaction, there are two possibilities: either a serious problem with motivation and sense of belonging or major communication issues.

The second option is even more serious than the first, since communication issues are often deliberate. Sometimes, communication (even internal communication) is seen, mostly by its detractors, literally as “hat” compared to the “cattle” that, beyond the metaphor, would represent the essence of matters, the so-called truth, forgetting how important perception can be and how much it can affect reality.

Of course, substance is fundamental, whether we are talking about the remuneration package or about the quality of service offered to clients. However, it is also true that their value, when not perceived or adequately communicated, loses all its strength.

The opposite should also be stigmatized, that is instances in which communication and image come before substance, something that, in some cases, produces excellent results in terms of satisfaction of the stakeholders.

The question is, is it better to have satisfied professionals objectively paid less than average, or professionals paid more than average but unaware and, for this reason, unsatisfied?

Sometimes, in some cases, communication pays off.

Nicola Ronchetti