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At an average $275K salary are BDMs and PDMs good value?

Mike Taylor5 March 2024
Unhappy BDM

Practice development and business development managers make up a significant portion of the financial advice eco-system and new research reveals that, on average, they are males, aged around 45 and earning a base salary of $275,000 a year.

The snapshot has been developed as a result of the latest Business Health whitepaper released this month which suggests that PDMs and BDMs feel they are working harder than ever, with many looking for change.

The white paper found that two-thirds of managers reported that their workload had increased, with 81% claiming their remuneration had remained static over the past 12 months.

It said a third were not satisfied in their current role and only half rated the support they received from senior managers highly.

“Given this, perhaps not surprisingly, 64% of managers are looking for a change in role and/or responsibilities in the coming three years,” the white paper said.

It identified that the number of advisers each manager serviced is largely dictated by whether they are a PDM working for a licensee or a BDM working representing an institution.

“PDMs typically service between 51 and 100 advisers while 40% of BDMs have a panel of between 101 to 200 advisers and 43% service more than 200 advisers,” it said.

The research said that both PDMs and BDMs thought that the number of advisrs I their panel should be reduced.

It said that while two-thirds (64%) of managers now conduct virtual meetings with their advisers on a monthly or quarterly basis, there remains a strong in-person component with 92% holding at least two adviser group functions per year.

The white paper pointed to the average compensation package for managers being around $300,000 plus on-costs and noted that this made them an expensive resource.

The research also identified that many Practice Development Managers offered a “distinctly different level of service and support to their ‘A’ class or top tier advisers”.

“Generally speaking, the differentiated high value services offered to ‘A’ class advisers include helping practices recruit staff, assistance with business/strategic planning and succession planning, training and professional development and business coaching,” it said.


Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor

Managing Editor/Publisher, Financial Newswire

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one foot out the doora
2 months ago

I’ve met and dealt with some great PDM and BDM over my 30-year career. And sometimes miss those relationships. But to be honest now where’re running corporatized practices (or building towards that out of scale necessity) and using asset consultants to run SMA or you’re running an MDA with your own asset consultant and or investment committee. I can’t see the value anymore, other than I enjoy the chat and coffee with them.

2 months ago

I would agree with this point of view in my experience also.

Gordon Black
2 months ago


2 months ago

No wonder my dealer fees have doubled. For the 2 meetings I have a year I’m not sure the value