Does your BDM have one foot out of the door?

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Eight out of ten BDMs and PDMs are planning to leave their current role in the next three years, according to new research.

A white paper from advisory firm Business Health has revealed that a third of BDMs and PDMs are dissatisfied with their current position, with deteriorating team cultures, increasing workloads and too much time spent on administration cited as sources of friction.

As a result, 78% of BDMs and PDMs say they intend to move into a different role or to a different company within the next three years. Forty-six per cent plan to move into a senior management role, while just 9% intend to become advisers. Two-thirds of BDMs have already been approached by a competitor about a move in the last 12 months.

Business Health partner Rod Bertino warned this shift could have a major impact on the industry.

"Three out of four existing adviser relationships will need to be moved within the next three years," said Bertino. "That has significant implications across the whole value chain."

The question for employers is one of client management, he added.

"Do employers have information about advisers, or is it all in the BDM's head? What transfer of corporate history and relationships takes place? If it's all in the BDM's head and they walk, that relationship walks with them."

The research also revealed that BDMs and PDMs are expected to provide a wide range of services to advisers, from marketing and business strategy support to compliance monitoring and SOA advice. Bell commented that the latter tasks could potentially raise conflict of interest issues, especially for PDMs.

Another concern was the lack of training for BDMs and PDMs needs to improve, with 90% of respondents revealing they didn't spend any time on professional development. Bell argued that there is a real need and desire for more professional development opportunities, and that more support is needed from employers.

The report, which surveyed 115 BDMs and PDMs in March, also revealed that business development is typically a 'young person's game', with more than half of respondents under the age of 40. However, BDMs and PDMs certainly aren't on the breadline, with six out of ten earning a base annual salary of between $100,000 and $150,000 with bonuses on top.