Research Study Aligning Wholesaler Compensation with Firm Goals

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External wholesalers may have reason to celebrate their banner earnings over the last couple of years, but asset managers do not. Since 2Q11, publicly traded asset managers have seen their compensation and benefits expenses rise from 31% to 36% of asset-based fees. This analysis suggests the cost of bringing in every dollar is rising and DST believes this industry trend will continue. In short, fund managers’ external wholesaler compensation plans are not healthy.

This report examines the need for asset managers to align their wholesaler compensation with their firm’s goals. It provides our key findings, including how asset management firms are compensating their external wholesalers, why net sales and AUM metrics have worked for some firms but not for most, what compensation factors are most profitable, and more.

Distribution Solutions Align Wholesaler Compensation illustration 

Our latest research Aligning Wholesaler Compensation With Firm Goals provides ideas and practical guidance for:

  • Building a compensation system that incentivizes wholesalers and increases firm profitability.
  • Creating compensation plans that make more use of base salary, bonus with metrics, and discretionary bonus.
  • Transitioning legacy wholesaling structures with our Alignment Model that aligns with current industry direction.
  • Developing a compensation structure that is more stable, lasting to weather market volatility.
  • Using training and education to empower wholesalers.

Purchasers of this report also get a personalized DST analyst presentation. Don’t miss the latest research on this challenging issue. Purchase the report today.

Primary Audience: Heads of Distribution, Heads of Sales, Heads of Compensation


DST interviewed 13 senior distribution executives who manage their firm’s external wholesaler teams, and conducted an online survey of 14 national sales managers (with an average of 45 external wholesalers at the firms surveyed).

Report Details

  • 32 pages
  • Released 6/25/2014
  • Author: Jeffrey Strange

categories: sales and marketing alignment, national sales manager, c-suite, national sales manager

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