Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.- Henry Ford
Maybe you’re looking for a better way to serve clients, or new avenues for growing your practice, and or want to find a partner whose experience and resources support and amplify your goals.
Transitioning to a new partner is a big step, requiring thorough evaluation to make sure it can deliver on the expectations you’ve set for your practice. The capabilities and services available at a prospective new broker/dealer should be aligned with where you see your opportunities for growth and service excellence.
Just as your clients require different solutions to reach their unique goals, it’s important to find a firm whose platforms, services, and support mesh with the way you run your practice and your future goals.
Start by identifying what’s most important to you. As you’ve built your practice, you’ve likely developed and focused on a few guiding principles, such as the values you hold close or a commitment to responding quickly to clients. Or perhaps you’re looking for a company with the scale and depth of back-office support that will allow you to focus more on your client relationships and building your practice. Or maybe you’re looking for the ability to choose from a wider variety of products and platforms to meet the needs of your clients.
It’s critical that what’s important to you is also important to your potential partners. At a minimum, you should feel comfortable that their standards match yours in the practice components that are the most essential to you, whether that’s their values, technology, or commitment to service.
Also, consider whether you offer any specialized services, such as estate planning and high-net-worth planning, or practice in a niche. The firm you choose to align with should be able to offer expertise, guidance and resources specific to your practice. Look for one with the full range of service, technology, and platform expertise you need to focus on your practice management priorities.
Next you want to make sure that they have the scale, flexibility, and experience to support all of the facets of your practice. Following is a guide to the offerings and resources you’ll need to consider:
Technology: Good technology and the support that goes with it can streamline your operations, enhance client relationships, and help both you and your clients pursue your goals. Look for customizable, intuitive, and efficient practice management platforms, integrated compliance solutions, tools that simplify and expedite routine processes, and a hands-on interface for clients, as well as the support you need when you need it.
Transition: An experienced and scaled team can guide you through the daunting task of transitioning with precision and clarity, allowing you to get back to maintaining your practice and client relationships as quickly as possible. Look for a partner who provides a customized transition plan and a menu of contacts and resources to move your unique practice through the process.
Business analysis: A firm that has the expertise and depth to analyze your business and understand your individuality can evaluate your strengths and identify areas of potential growth and help you with longer term goals, such as succession planning.
Scale: A firm with breadth and depth of experience will be able to provide a variety of services to help you better adapt to and find opportunities in the changing marketplace, client expectations, and the regulatory environment.
Compliance: Ensuring you remain compliant with regulations can be time consuming and costly. Look for a firm that makes your compliance a priority through training, expert knowledge, assistance, and automated processes, tools and technology. Also, look for a firm with a team dedicated to staying on top of and advocating for you on regulatory issues.
Platforms: Especially in today’s regulatory, market, and client environment, it’s important to have access to a variety of solutions for your clients’ investment goals. Seek a company with a broad array of options with the service and tools to enable you to use them efficiently.
Service: You can only work as quickly as you can clear hurdles that inevitably arise. An efficient, deep, and specialized team of service professionals can lower operational hurdles and keep you running smoothly.
Education: Training and learning experiences can ensure that your practice evolves and grows with changes in technology, trends, markets, regulation, and client expectations. This can take the form of webinars, online and in-person trainings sessions, conferences and other opportunities to interact with peers and industry experts, or access to the latest research. Make sure your future partner has the resources and depth of knowledge to keep your practice stays ahead of the curve.