PrimeVest Financial Services gained 273 advisors in 2011, lifting its total registered representative force to more than 1,600, a 24% increase from the year before, the firm announced. In addition, production increased 14% among the top 100 investment services programs it administers on behalf of banks and credit unions. 

Most of the recruiting gains (46%) came from existing Primevest programs within banks and credit unions.  Forty-three percent came from banks and credit unions that converted to PrimeVest from other broker-dealers with the rest resulting from existing programs filling vacant positions.

Fourteen percent of the new recruits who filled open positions or joined existing PrimeVest programs came from wirehouses or megabanks, including Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Merrill Lynch and Edward Jones, “illustrating the continued breakaway trend toward independence and choice,” Primevest said in a statement.

PrimeVest President and CEO Catherine Bonneau cited the firm’s referral rewards program and an interactive recruiting and job search website among the factors that bolstered recruiting in 2011.  The referral rewards program offers financial professionals a one-time bonus based on the trailing 12-month gross dealer concession (the revenue to broker-dealer firms when advisors sell securities or insurance products) of a financial institution or financial advisor that becomes a PrimeVest client.

The firm also attributed the recruiting gains to its “Rep-on-Demand” program, which “gives banks and credit unions access to in-house PrimeVest advisors who can help them jumpstart a new investment services program, serve transactional business/smaller accounts, or fill in during unexpected circumstances,” according to a company statement. 

Enhancements to wealth management programs, marketing support services and technology at PrimeVest’s parent company Cetera Financial Group were also a strong draw.

“Our people, our extensive focus on financial institutions and the benefits of scale we deliver as a Cetera broker-dealer make us attractive to advisors, ” Bonneau said in a statement.