Median number of financial planners hits five-year low

Average number of financial planners at top B.C. firms has dropped 13.6% since 2019

It’s been a bumpy five years of change at the region’s largest financial planning firms, according to data collected for  Business in Vancouver’s Biggest Financial Planning Firms in Metro Vancouver list (Page 11). 

This year the average number of financial planners working at the region’s largest firms dropped below 2016 levels, declining 13.6% to 102.7 in 2020 from 118.8 in 2019.

In 2015 the average number of financial planners employed at the top firms was 115.4, but that number declined steeply in 2017, falling 48.3% to 59.6. 

By 2018 most of those financial planners returned, and by 2019 the average had a reached a new five-year high. 

However, a large part of that gain has now been lost.

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The median number of financial planners working at the top firms followed a similar trend, posting growth in 2016 only to see it wiped away in 2020. 

The median fell significantly more in 2020 than the average. It declined 45.4% to 38.5 from 70.5 in 2019, its lowest level in the past five years. 

This suggests that smaller firms lower on the list had greater declines in their number of financial planners over the past year than larger firms higher on the list. 

Despite the decline in the average number of financial planners, No. 1 Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY) had the largest one-year increase on the list, increasing 34.6% to 404 in 2020 from 300 in 2019. 

No. 10 BlueShore Financial recorded the largest one-year decrease in financial planners, down 14.6% to 41 in 2020 from 48 in 2019.