Self Employed with retention rates anywhere between 55% – 93% of your Gross turnover:


When deciding which firm you’re going to join next, it will all come down to a few factors. Size, proposition, support, technology, retention rates, and then a whole load of personal preferences. There are plenty of DA’s, Nationals, and Networks that will provide you with enough support to de-risk your business, reduce your costs and provide you with enough support to start building something yourself.

Self-employed contracts for advisors are so competitive and they can vary so much, however, this is the goal for so many advisors. There’s no question about it, advisors that are self-employed will have the opportunity to earn far more than any employed advisor.

How much of your fee and commission income is retained will depend on how much support you need. For example, if you need access to full administration and Paraplanning, this is a cost to the business which will be a cost that is passed down to you. A model like this we would usually see an advisor retaining anywhere between 55% – 70% of their gross turnover.

You need to ask yourself do I actually need full admin and Paraplanning support on every single case, or can I have access to that on a pay as you go basis? Most advisors will agree that on a turnover up to £150,000 per annum, they’re quite comfortable doing the majority of it themselves and outsourcing the more complex and/or time-consuming cases. If this was the case then you should be retaining 80% – 85% of your gross turnover.

Over the last 6 years, we have helped countless advisors increase the turnover and profitability of their advice businesses. We find that most advisers need to be questioned to really make them think about what they actually want and need. For example:

  • What size business (Number of advisers, are they DA, AR etc)
  • What advice permissions are needed
  • Succession planning (selling part or all of a client bank)
  • Regulatory Fee’s and PI Cover
  • Back Office support (Admin & Paraplanning)
  • Independent or Restricted
  • Integrated and streamlined Technology
  • The list goes on

Here are the top 5 responses we get when asking self-employed advisors “Why are you considering your options”


  • The business being sold (this is huge at the moment with mergers and acquisitions happening all the time)
  • No clear succession planning
  • Efficiencies (clunky & time-consuming processes)
  • Paying away far too much for very little to no support.
  • Too restricted or moving to a restricted model.

The next 2 packages are for employed advisors and what we typically find in today’s market place.


The answers are relatively broad as it is not one shoe fits all. For a Level 4 diploma qualified advisor, we typically see salaries in the region of £40,000 – £60,000 per annum. For chartered advisors, it’s usually £70,000 minimum. With Financial Planners and their earnings, so much depends on the bonus/commission package. That all boils down to what support you’re getting from your employer.

Earn a 1/3 of your Gross income:


Let’s start with positions where there is a lot of support for an advisor. This can be from an advisor leaving or retiring where you have an active client bank to work on plus any new introductions, supported with paraplanning and administration, this is where you may find higher basics. Still, you’ll most certainly find lower commission/bonuses and higher validation models. As a general rule for this type of position, we always say that the advisor should and will need to be earning 1/3 of their gross income. This will take into account the cost to run that team and enough margin for the practice to make a profit.

Let’s look at an Advisor that starts a new job and is servicing a book of business that produces £200,000 pa. In this example, where the advisor is supported by an administrator and a Paraplanner, we would usually see a salary validation model 3 times with commission/bonus sitting around 30%.

So if the advisor is on a basic salary of £50,000 and generates £200,000 on this remuneration model, their total earnings will be £65,000. If they grew that book of business to £300,000, total revenue would be £95,000.

Earn 1/2 of your Gross income:


The second option is earning half of your gross income. These positions are where you are required to self-generate the majority of your business. You may have a small book to initially work off, but the advisor needs to go out there and generate the business.

We wouldn’t expect to see a validation model anywhere near 3 times for these types of roles, and we would expect to see it more along the lines of 1 – 2 times. The commission again will vary depending on the validation model. Still, if we were looking at a 2 times validation model, it should be around 50%. On a 1 times validation model, it would usually be lower at approx. 25% – 30%. You may even see some different fee splits if the firm does introduce business to the advisor.

The same example: if the advisor is on a basic salary of £50,000 with a 2 x validation model and generates £200,000, on this remuneration model, their total earnings will be £100,000. If we look at the 1 times validation model and 30% commission, their total revenue would be £95,000.

Here are the top 5 responses we get when asking Employed advisors “Why are you considering your options”


  • Limited earnings due to being at capacity with clients
  • They’ve realised that they can look after approx a third of their current clients and earn the same amount being self employed
  • Again, businesses being sold
  • To build something for themselves
  • Support with more client introductions


Feel free to get in contact with me should you wish to discuss your current setup.


We are always here to have a confidential conversation.


Why Paraplanners choose Antony George RecruitmentAny questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me on LinkedIn.
Phone number:01268 200 722
Mobile number: 07932 374 109
Antony George LinkedIn


Lee Old, Co-Founder at Antony George Recruitment