Wells Fargo Advisors increased the eligibility and payouts for several advisor bonus awards in 2015.
At the same time, core payout rates were left unchanged under the 2015 compensation plan, which was unveiled to advisors on Wednesday.
Wells previously gave deferred bonus awards when advisors achieved two out of three growth goals: advisory flows, lending and net asset flows. Under the new plan, advisors can earn individual awards for their growth in each category, plus a larger bonus for hitting all three targets. For example, a $1 million producing advisor who met his or her three criteria could earn an extra $100,000.
For adivsors to get paid on equity trades, Wells Fargo changed its minimum ticket size to $125 from $95. The firm made no change to the minimum ticket size charged to clients: $55.
Long-time advisors at the firm stand to gain the most on certain award payments. Those with 15 years or more of service will earn an extra 0.5% on the firm's base award, which is comprised of deferred pay. That means a $1 million producer with 15 years at Wells would earn 1.5%, whereas an advisor with identical production, but only 5 years of experience, would earn 1%.
The firm's deferred compensation is vested after 5 years, but advisors who fulfill criteria for two of the three best practice awards have the option to convert their deferred bonus into an immediate loan bonus.
Wells Fargo is also expanding its FA Estate Protection Program to all of its advisors. The program pays a one-time death benefit equal to 50% of an advisor's trailing 12-month production. The payment is capped at $2 million. Previously, the program was available only to teams.