Your work is meaningful and deserving of rewards.


Independent advisors at Waddell & Reed share some common goals: grow their practices, make their work meaningful, help clients be successful. For these they work relentlessly and enjoy competitive payouts, benefits and recognition.

“At my previous firm I enjoyed a high payout, but the rising expense of running my business and the ever-increasing charges funneled back to me cut into my bottom line.”

-- Independent financial advisor now affiliated with Waddell & Reed

“Fee compression, annual grid changes, shifts in work/life balance, increased minimums and decreased incentives. There was so much I disliked about my old firm.”

-- Former wirehouse financial advisor now affiliated with Waddell & Reed

Waddell & Reed prefers a different approach.

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Competitive Payout

A highly competitive payout grid anchors the Waddell & Reed advisor compensation package.

Compensation Grid
Gross Production1,2 Financial
Advisory General
Insurance Service/
$0 to $149,999 50% 60% 35% 50% 45% 50% 50% 50%
$150,000 to $199,999 58% 60% 35% 58% 46% 58% 58% 58%
$200,000 to $249,999 60% 60% 35% 60% 47% 60% 60% 60%
$250,000 to $299,999 62% 60% 35% 62% 48% 62% 62% 62%
$300,000 to $349,999 64% 60% 35% 64% 49% 66% 66% 66%
$350,000 to $399,999 66% 60% 35% 66% 50% 68% 68% 68%
$400,000 to $499,999 68% 60% 35% 68% 51% 70% 70% 70%
$500,000 to $624,999 70% 60% 35% 70% 52% 72% 72% 72%
$625,000 to $749,999 72% 60% 35% 72% 53% 74% 74% 74%
$750,000 to $874,999 76% 60% 35% 76% 54% 76% 76% 76%
$875,000 to $999,999 78% 60% 35% 78% 55% 78% 78% 78%
$1,000,000 to $1,249,999 80% 60% 35% 80% 56% 80% 80% 80%
$1,250,000 to $1,499,999 81% 60% 35% 81% 57% 81% 81% 81%
$1,500,000+ 82% 60% 35% 82% 57% 82% 82% 82%

1 Referred to as total gross revenue in the Advisor Compensation and Incentive Guide.
2 A team will qualify for its tier level based on the advisor with the highest gross production. Any personal business conducted by a team member will be paid at the tier level based on that advisor’s total gross production, which includes personal accounts and his or her portion of the team. If an advisor’s personal tier level is higher than that of the team’s tier level, the advisor will receive the higher
payout on their portion of the team.
3 12b-1 fees are passed through to the advisor.
4 MAP products include MAP, MAPPlus, MAPChoice, MAPIncome.
5 OTHER products include MAPFlex, MAPLatitude, MAPSelect, Lockwood Investment Strategies and Lockwood Sponsored Portfolios.

Equity Compensation

You’ll have opportunity to receive an equity stake in the firm, rewarded in the form of Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. Class A common stock (NYSE:WDR).

Gross Production1,2 Annual Equity Compensation
$300,000+ 2.5%

Referred to as Total Gross Revenue in the 2016 Choice Advisor Compensation and Incentive Guide.
2 Equity Compensation will be paid out on an annual basis based on calendar year gross production. If an advisor's gross production is greater or equal to $300,000, equity compensation will be paid out in the amount of 2.5% of gross production. Subject to vesting schedule. Team members must qualify based on individual gross production.

Personal Office Reward Program

You may establish an office in any of our branch locations at no cost. If you prefer to operate from a personal stand-alone location, our Personal Office Reward Program helps you establish and maintain your office.

Trailing 12-Month Gross Production1
From To Annual Support
$0 $149,999 $3,0002
$150,000 $199,999 $3,600
$200,000 $249,999 $5,040
$250,000 $299,999 $6,300
$300,000 $349,999 $7,560
$350,000 $399,999 $9,030
$400,000 $499,999 $10,560
$500,000 $624,999 $12,150
$625,000 $749,999 $13,800
$750,000 $874,999 $19,740
$875,000 $999,999 $21,600
$1,000,000 $1,499,999 $27,930
$1,500,000+   $30,000

1 Referred to as total gross revenue in the Advisor Compensation and Incentive Guide.
2 Second year and beyond Choice advisors receive $0 in the $0 - $149,999 range.

Additional Rewards

Your reward opportunities beyond compensation also may include:

  • E&O insurance
  • Fee support and reimbursement
  • Business transition program
  • Transition bonus for experienced advisors

Reach Your Compensation Goals

Your net compensation is an amalgamation of dozens of factors beyond commission and 12b-1 fees. This analysis of Waddell & Reed’s compensation package will help take the guesswork out of your bottom line.

Trailing 12-Month Gross Production  $250,000  500,000  750,000  1,000,000
Commissions and Service Fees1 $151,000 60.4%  341,100 68.2%  546,750 72.9%  766,000 76.6%
President’s Council Bonus2  10,000
Equity Comp  -    12,500  18,750  25,000
Total Cash/Equity Compensation  151,000 60.4%  353,600 70.7%  565,500 75.4%  801,000 80.1%
Licensing Fees3  1,000  1,000  1,000  1,000
OS J/Compliance Fees4  12,500  20,000  30,000  30,000
Health Insurance Subsidy5  12,942  12,942  12,942  12,942
Convention Meetings / Trips6  -    2,750  12,750  12,750
Advertising (Co Op) - W&R Match7  2,000  3,000  4,000  5,000
Division Office Value8  12,000  12,000  12,000  12,000
Total expenses covered by W&R  40,442    51,692    72,692    73,692  
Total Compensation  191,442 76.6%  405,292 81.1%  638,192 85.1%  874,692 87.5%
Transaction Fees9  3,750  7,500  11,250  15,000
E & O coverage10  1,500  1,500  1,500  1,500
Technology Fees10  2,820  2,820  2,820  2,820
Advertising (Co Op) - Advisor Match7  2,000  3,000  4,000  5,000
Health Insurance5  9,450  9,450  9,450  9,450
Total expenses not covered by W&R  19,520    24,270    29,020    33,770  
Net Compensation to Advisor  171,922 68.8%  381,022 76.2%  609,172 81.2%  840,922 84.1%

1Assumes the following product mix: Advisor - 48% (Lockwood Advisory fee - 38%, MAP - 10%), Investment Products - 28% (Mutual Funds - 15%, Variable Annuities - 13%), General Securities - 10%, Service/Distribution Fees - 9%, Insurance - 4%, Financial Planning (other than Advisory) - 1%.
2The top six Choice advisors (based on gross production*) earn President’s Council Bonus. There is no guarantee that $1,000,000 of gross production will qualify.
3Advisors initial licensing fees paid for in their resident state (and any non-resident states) up to $1,000. 
4Independent firms may charge an OSJ/Compliance Fee that generally ranges from 3% to 10% of gross production*. This analysis uses an estimated 5% at $250,000, 4% at $500,000 and $750,000, and 3% at $1,000,000. This represents the approximate value of services that Waddell & Reed covers on behalf of the advisor.
5A portion of your health insurance is subsidized based upon gross production*. Amounts shown include advisor, spouse and children.
6Chairman’s Cabinet Platinum trip (value $9,000), Crest trip (value $9,000), Circle of Champions meeting (value with guest $3,750, calue without guest $2,750).
7Advisor reimbursed for advertising up to 50% of covered program expenses.
8For those advisors working in a division or district office, office space expense is valued at $12,000/year and is covered by Waddell & Reed. If an advisor works in an independent office, he or she may qualify for office support up to $30,000/year.
9Transactions Fees: mutual funds, $7/trade; equities, $17/trade; fixed income, $25/trade; UITs, $20/trade, options, $17/trade plus $1 per contract; options exercised $30/position; systematic, $2/trade. Analysis estimated fees based on 1.5% of gross production*.
10E&O Insurance: $125/month;Technology Fee: $235/month.
*Referred to as total gross revenue in the Advisor Compensation and Incentive Guide.

You work hard. 

Explore a career home where compensation and achievement align.

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Benefits are an integral part of your total rewards program. Waddell & Reed offers first-rate and flexible benefit options at an affordable cost.

  • Group health plan
  • Group dental plan
  • Group vision plan
  • Group life insurance and AD&D
  • Employee assistance program
  • Net asset value investment program
  • Simplified employee pension plan

Field leaders1 enjoy additional benefits, including:

  • 401(k) and thrift plan
  • Business travel and accident insurance
  • Cafeteria plan
  • Critical illness insurance
  • Health savings account/flexible spending account
  • Long-term disability
  • Retirement income pension plan
  • Supplemental life insurance

1Available for Regional Vice President, Managing Principal, District Manager and District Branch Manager.

Benefits for your health and well being. 

Waddell & Reed has both. Let’s talk.

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Our recognition programs recognize your success and accomplishments at every level of your career.

Circle of Champions
This annual four-day meeting takes place at an exclusive resort and includes top-quality entertainment and local flavor. You’ll learn from and network with executive management, portfolio managers and your successful peers.

Recognizing superior sales achievement, Crest is a week-long vacation for you and a guest. Past destinations include: Vienna, Beijing, Dublin, Paris, a Mediterranean cruise and Cabo San Lucas.

Chairman's Cabinet
Chairman’s Cabinet is an exclusive three-day getaway at the conclusion of Crest for you and a guest. Chairman’s Cabinet advisors can expect upgraded travel and other amenities. Past Chairman’s Cabinet destinations include: Shanghai, Prague, Lisbon, Brussels and Cannes.

Advisor Medalist Program
The top 250 advisors based on gross production1 receive distinctive benefits including resources to help grow business, professional development and expedited business processes. Most significant is the Top Advisors’ Forum, a four-day visit to corporate headquarters for the top 75 advisors to share ideas with senior management, investment managers, subject matter experts and other successful advisors.

Financial Planning Council
The top eight financial advisors, top two managing principals and top two district managers/district branch managers in annual financial planning fees are appointed to the Financial Planning Council. Members visit the home office to be recognized for their achievement and to meet with senior management to offer thoughts and ideas on our financial planning services and programs.

President's Council
The top 12 advisors — six Choice (based on gross production1), six Classic (based on gross production less 12b-1 fees2) — nationwide form the President’s Council. Each member of the council receives a cash bonus and is invited to special meetings for team building, professional development and networking with executive management.

Seven Cs Recognition Award
This award pays tribute to a financial advisor or managing principal who consistently demonstrates the ideals called for in The Seven Cs, a set of cultural principles that define who we are and underpin our business strategies. Candidates are nominated by their colleagues.

Field Leader Recognition

Leadership Council
The top eight managing principals nationwide form the Leadership Council. Members receive a cash bonus and are invited to special meetings for team building, professional development and networking with executive management.

Field Management Incentive Program
This program encourages managing principals to develop financial advisors and district managers/district branch managers into managing principals and compensates them for the loss in their division. Awards include cash bonus and an invitation for you and a guest to the annual leadership summit.

Managing Principal and District Manager Stock Incentive Plan
This program encourages managing principals and district managers/district branch managers to recruit and develop new financial advisors. Managers are ranked based on numerous criteria including recruiting, development and sales. Members are granted stock awards.

Referred to as total gross revenue in the Advisor Compensation and Incentive Guide
Referred to as production gross revenue in the Advisor Compensation and Incentive Guide.

Get recognized.

Let us tell you about how Waddell & Reed’s recognition programs celebrate your big moments and well-earned success.

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