HOW CAN YOU ENSURE YOUR TRANSITION IS SUCCESSFUL?
In a series of posts over the last several months, we have referenced the Fidelity 2017 Advisor Movement Study. Among the things we have learned is that just over half of advisors have moved, or seriously considered a move in the last five years. We’ve also learned that almost half of those that moved were part of a team. Another significant change from 2012 (the year of Fidelity’s prior study) was that 80% of those who moved joined an established firm instead of starting their own firm or joining a start-up.
What does this tell us? The transitioning advisor’s experiences vary widely. In more than six years with Dynamic, I have supported dozens of advisors who have transitioned their business to work with our team, and have spoken to hundreds, at length, about a possible move. We encounter advisors who have never moved their practice before, those who have moved several times, those who have had great transition experiences and those who had negative transition experiences.
According to the 2017 Fidelity study, the two biggest concerns for advisors considering a move were fear of the unknown, and the amount of time spent on the transition instead of focusing on managing the business. Based on my experience, a large majority of those who identified the “fear of the unknown” were likely advisors who have not been through a transition before. And those who were concerned about the time spent on the transition, instead of their business likely have been through at least one transition and had a less than positive experience.
With a great deal of activity and attention directed at transitions, I was pleasantly surprised to see an article earlier this week from Michael Kitces about transitions. The guest for this article is Grier Rubeling of Advisor Transition Services who outlines 17 steps for a successful transition. The post is slightly more targeted toward breakaway brokers moving to RIA’s (see the full article here), but lessons can be taken for all manner of transitions to a RIA from the tips.
Rather than summarize the 17 steps in this post, but I will share my thoughts about a few comments made later in the article. Mr. Kitces offers several tips to complement the guest-poster’s suggestions. In one tip, Mr. Kitces discusses staffing for a transition. In our universe, when an advisor or team decides to join Dynamic, they are assigned a transition manager to serve as the project facilitator for their move. Weekly status calls are conducted to ensure continuity with major facets of the transition, and in the early phase of the transition, the transition team is in daily contact with the advisor or advisor’s staff. Mr. Kitces also points out that trying to tackle a transition on your own is strongly discouraged. Engaging with a firm, like Dynamic, removes the possibility of a transition train-wreck.
As advisors overcome fear of the unknown, or the probability of increased temporary workload, let’s revisit the Fidelity study. More than a third, 35% of advisors who moved reported that they “should have made the move sooner”. This is a sentiment I have heard from advisors over the last six years. The study also reported the top forms of support received by the advisor from the firm to which they transitioned. They were an established brand, offered legal and compliance support, transitional/operational support, technology, and back-office support. “All of these services are key components to Dynamic’s transition services”, commented Jim Cannon, the founder and CEO of Dynamic Wealth Advisors.
About Dynamic Wealth Advisors
Dynamic is recognized as a premier provider of essential resources to professional wealth management practices. Its turnkey practice platform includes asset management, and enables wealth advisors to save money and focus on clients while positioning themselves for success and growth. With myVirtualPractice, a suite of wealth management practice solutions, Dynamic hands the professional wealth advisor the keys to a comprehensive custom-built virtual office and practice complete with staff, back/middle office, accounting/billing, compliance and even a Virtual Assistant. The wealth advisor need only add clients and they are up and running instantly. For many breakaways and independent wealth advisors, being part of a nationwide community of like-minded professionals is one of the most valuable components of their affiliation with Dynamic.