The Advisors’ Report Card is a summation of Investment Executive’s (IE) four 2022 Report Cards. Between Jan. 4 and June 15, interviewed 1,481 advisors and planners with 38 firms to conduct the 2022 Brokerage Report Card, Dealers’ Report Card, Report Card on Banks and Insurance Advisors’ Report Card — published in May, June, September and October, respectively. Due to insufficient sample size, Hub Financial Inc. and Portfolio Strategies Corp. were omitted from the ratings results for 2022.

Across all Report Cards, respondents must have worked for the firms they were rating for at least one year and been in the industry for at least three years, among other licensing and segment-specific requirements.

Ten research journalists conducted the interviews: Laurent Bouthillier, Brian Capitao, Joseph Eskander, Emily Fox, James Gaughan, Jackie Graves, Roland Inacay, Alisha Mughal, Daniel Reale-Chin and Cyndia St-Cyr Montes. They asked advisors and planners to provide a performance rating and an importance rating for the categories that applied to the firms, banks or insurance agencies they worked with or processed business through. The rating could range between zero (meaning “poor” or “unimportant”) and 10 (meaning “excellent” or “critically important”). Advisors also were asked how likely they would be to recommend their firms.

The Advisors’ Report Card examines the 30 categories relevant to all or most of the industry segments. “Support for fee-based models” doesn’t apply to the retail banks and insurance agencies; “back office & administrative support” is covered in the Insurance Advisors’ Report Card but differently from other research; and “support for insurance planning” does not apply to the Report Card on Banks.

In 2022, the “ethics” category was removed from all Report Cards. The “diversity, equity & inclusion policies” category was added to all Report Cards, and the “client onboarding tools” category was added to the Insurance Advisors’ Report Card to align it with the rest. Some category names were adjusted for clarity (e.g., “remote work & mobile technology support”), but kept their focus and methodology.

Respondents also were asked two supplementary questions: to assign a difficulty rating (on a scale of zero to 10) for how well they’re adjusting to the Canadian Securities Administrators’ client-focused reforms; and, out of five options, to identify the most pressing issues facing their vulnerable clients.

In this year’s Advisors’ Report Card coverage, advisor quotes were used without identifying their firms. This is because the topics covered in 2022 were largely based on questions about advisors’ personal views and experiences with industry rather than firm-specific trends.