In the war for talent, XP launches offensive to hire thousands of freelance agents
XP’s partner office network currently has 10,700 independent agents
In addition to the digital footprint, a component was essential in the step by step taken by XP in exactly 21 years to its current base of 3.5 million customers and BRL 873 billion of assets under custody: its network of partner offices of autonomous agents. .
At the same time that it created shortcuts and gained capillarity, the company became synonymous with this model by pioneering it in the country. But, like XP, the format gained fame and was no longer a brand of the company founded by Guilherme Benchimol.
XP already has up its sleeve, however, an answer to the growing competition for these talents in the financial market. The company anticipated NeoFeed that its network of more than 400 partner offices plans to hire 5,000 professionals by the end of 2022.
“In 2019, this network had about 5,900 advisors. Today, there are 10,700”, says Bruno Ballista, head of consultancy and customer relations at XP, when NeoFeed. “The appetite is very big. In just one year, our office network intends to hire more than it has grown in the last three years.”
Some numbers reinforce this appetite. This year, the network has already hired 1,000 professionals and 5,000 vacancies are open. The total volume represents almost an entire XP, which currently has 6,500 employees.
By doubling its bet, XP understands that to occupy these chairs it will be necessary to go beyond the movement that has always fueled this model: the exodus of professionals who decided to leave the big banks, taking years of window in this market and an extensive network of contacts in their luggage. .
“XP started way back as a financial education company,” says Gabriela Assis, XP’s head of growth and onboard. “So, our basis for filling these vacancies will be to invest in education and training.”
Ballista reinforces that there is still a potential universe of around 25,000 high-income bank managers. But, in addition to these professionals being more expensive, due to the growing competition and the “roba-mont” in the market, there is another preponderant factor for the search for new expansion paths.
“Our next spurt of growth will have to come in other ways,” notes Ballista. “If we are dependent on bank managers, the speed of this growth will be compromised.”
This expansion is in line with XP’s ongoing plan to expand its addressable market from BRL 120 billion to BRL 500 billion, a mantra that has been the guiding light since the company began investing in the credit, banking, insurance and people verticals. legal.
While XP gains muscle in these new areas and seeks to make its operation even more profitable, the company’s traditional business will continue to be the engine of revenue and the main gateway for customers.
In this journey, there are challenges in the short term, especially with regard to the impacts of the macroeconomic scenario, as the company made a point of stressing when disclosing the balance sheet for the first quarter of this year.
Among other figures, XP reported an adjusted profit of BRL 987 million, up 17% over the same period in 2021. However, the index showed a strong deceleration, given that, a year ago, the jump in this indicator was 104 %. And in the fourth quarter of last year, 51%.
Despite the 22% growth in assets under custody and 17% in the customer base, there was also a deceleration in net funding, which was R$46 billion, against R$69 billion in the same period in 2021.
In this context, the shares of the company, listed on Nasdaq and valued at US$ 12.3 billion, have accumulated a devaluation of 18.4% in 2022. However, even in the face of the moment of greater caution, another indicator continues to feed the plans of XP expansion.
In the first quarter, in line with a scenario observed in recent years, Brazil reached 4.3 million individual investors, an annual increase of 44%. The number continues to drive the market’s quest to have more arms in the field, capable of bringing more resources into the house.
“In the United States, there are hundreds of thousands of financial advisors and a good part of the wealth is already invested in independent platforms”, says Ballista. “Here, we still have a lot of room to grow, so we are very optimistic about the profession.”
Data from the National Association of Securities, Exchange and Merchandise Brokers and Distributors (Ancord), an entity that issues certification for acting as an investment advisor, show, to the same extent, that interest in the profession has been growing.
In April, the country reached 18,600 accredited autonomous agents – those able to exercise the activity, and surpassed 15,000 linked agents, who are operating in the market. In March 2019, these numbers were, respectively, 7.1 thousand and 5.5 thousand advisors.
“Many of the professionals seeking certification are already tied to a vacancy. This link is getting faster and faster”, says Orlando Junior, responsible for Ancord’s certification and accreditation area. “By the end of the year, the projection is that we will have around 25,000 accredited and 22,000 linked.”
In addition to XP, other players are heating up this demand. In a clash that has dominated the market’s attention for a long time, the main rival is BTG Pactual, which has a network of more than 2,500 independent agents.
According to Ancord, Brazil went from 7,100 accredited autonomous agents in March 2019 to 18,600 advisors in April this year
The battles between the two companies have already included, on both sides, the attraction of offices with agreements that use the proposal of partnership in the creation of brokerages as an appeal. And who do not hesitate to advance into enemy territory.
This was the case with EQI, which was linked to XP and had a 49% stake purchased by BTG in 2020. In a recent interview with NeoFeedJuliano Custódio, founder and CEO of the company, said he will hire 1,300 professionals over the next 18 months, as part of EQI’s transition to become a brokerage firm.
There are other players entering this trench. Among them, Itaú Unibanco, which, in January, disbursed R$ 650 million to buy 50.1% of the brokerage firm Ideal. When announcing the transaction, the bank stressed that the agreement could accelerate its entry into the market of autonomous agents.
The range also includes names such as Safra, through Safra Invest, its arm in the area, and Santander, which plans to advance on this front with Toro Investimentos, a platform in which it holds a 60% stake.
Who also started investing in this segment was Grupo Primo, by Thiago Nigro, better known as Primo Rico. This debut took place in April of this year, when the company announced the acquisition of TopInvest, an education company focused on training financial market professionals.
To stay ahead in this dispute, XP’s main channel is the “be an advisor” page within its portal, which receives, on average, 15,000 registrations per month.
The application includes a first screening with an extensive questionnaire to assess the candidate’s potential. If he passes this stage, XP bears the costs of the preparatory course for Ancord certification and proceeds with the selection.
“We identify who is enthusiastic and who actually wants to be an advisor. And we have already introduced this person to our network”, says Gabriela Assis. “Thus, there are candidates who, before certification, are already guaranteed a spot.” For women, when this happens, XP also pays the certification costs.
The criteria that dictate the selection assess commercial skills, ability to articulate, network of relationships and experience in some executive position.
XP also launched an initiative aimed at enthusiasts of the profession. Named XP Future, the program will train 1,500 advisors by the end of the year, who will reinforce both the company’s own team and the network’s partners. “We are working at both extremes. If demand has increased, we will strengthen supply”, says Ballista.