The Top 5 Reasons Financial Advisors & Firm Owners Should Consider Moving, Merging, or Selling Their Business.
Change is difficult. Change causes extra work, discomfort, and pain. Change for change sake is never a good idea and embarking on a partnership with a different firm is certainly not right for everyone. In order to make a change of this significance worthwhile, the benefits need to not only outweigh the cost, they must exceed it significantly. With that being said, such benefits do exist and are prevalent enough to have Advisors and Firm Owners of all sizes considering moving, merging, or selling their business.
Over the past decade, Advisory DNA has facilitated over 150 transitions and transactions and has gathered significant sums of data regarding the largest factors that should (and do) cause Wealth Managers to consider a change in their partnerships. Five specific reasons emerged and are independent yet still congruent with current trends in the industry.
Reason 1: Growth
Many public figures over the ages have used a variation of the phrase, “if you are not growing, you are dying.” The growth of an advisory business is not only a means to make more money. For those with an entrepreneurial spirit, continued growth is a form of achievement and self-actualization, and is often one of their largest motivational forces.
There are many firms with lead generation outlets and proven growth strategies that will fuel the next stage of growth for an Advisor’s practice. Rather than reinventing the wheel, many Investment Advisors choose to begin a partnership with a new firm that has already created a quality lead-generation platform and has a proven track record of helping Advisors grow.
Reason 2: Operational Scale
As an expansion on the previous point, most firms are not growing because they have not achieved the means to scale their business due to a lack of integrated technology or as a results of inefficient systems and processes. Freeing up time for the business owners and employees of a firm is the first step to growth. Without this, there will be no capacity for additional clients and no additional time to invest in the further monetization of the existing client relationships.
Many advisory firms have created systems, processes, and technologies that can take a significant number of tasks off of an Advisor’s plate and can reduce the number of steps needed to complete a task that cannot be delegated. With the extra time that scalability provides, Advisors can either pursue additional clients, spend extra time capitalizing on their current book of business, or simply pursue what they are passionate about outside of the office.
Reason 3: Client Experience
Fee compression and broader competition are continuing to press advisory firms to improve the quality of the experience and value proposition for their clients. Some firms choose to do this on their own. However, many are finding it quicker, cheaper, and easier to join another firm that has already create a high quality platform from which to provide a top-tier client experience.
In a similar fashion to scalability, a high-quality client experience is a strategy for growth and increasing revenue. However, most Advisors also have a genuine and strong desire to act in their clients’ best interest and want to provide them with a quality deliverable, regardless of personal gain. This perspective paired with a passion for serving clients is often the very reason many advisory professionals began their vocation as a Wealth Manager.
Reason 4: Advisor Experience
If you do not love what you do, you are not going to reach your definition of success. Whether it’s the impact of the firm’s culture, systems, technology, support, or the pride taken in the impact you have on your clients, your experience as an Advisor is at the center of your vocational gratification.
Reason 5: Economics
Whether an Advisor is in a captive environment, an RIA, or an IBD, many are still operating under a compensation model that is archaic and in some cases, unfair. Although having a positive impact on the lives of clients will always be the cornerstone of the industry, increasing the take home pay of Advisors and Firm Owners has to be at the core of any successful partnership.
The Financial Advisory Ecosystem has plenty of options for increasing monetary gains. These include, increased scalability, additional lead generation, or a better compensation structure. The most attractive firms offer multiple ways for an Advisor to increase their personal financial stake.
Throughout all of the change that is still to come in the industry, these five things will continue to be top-of-mind for advisors as they contemplate their future partnerships. Each Advisor and Advisory Firm has their own unique DNA in how they operation within the industry and each of them need customized solutions that will help them achieve their best vocational lives.
Advisory DNA is in the business of consulting with Advisors and Firm Owners to help them understand if they should be contemplating a transition or remaining with their current partnerships. To help discover which partnership options best align with your unique DNA and mission, one of our consultants would love to have a discreet and complimentary consultation to help you gain a better perspective on what’s next on your journey. To set up a consultation or to learn more, email us at info@AdvisoryDNA.com