Love them or hate them, performance benchmarks are how financial industry firms evaluate themselves against each other. It's also how they compare you to your co-workers.

The reliance on benchmarked data varies within the industry. The big four tend to generate the most detail in their rankings, and they attach more consequence to the outcomes. They measure not only production and assets, but also percentage fee-based growth, growth of large accounts, participation in favored products and so on. The quintiles for each category are then broken down into subgroups so you can be judged against your colleagues who have a similar number of years in the industry.

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