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Manage adviser transition the right way
November 2, 2021, Andree Peterson
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An issue that is most often overlooked when contemplating the growth equation at any firm is that it isn’t just a matter of adding advisers – you have to keep them as well.  When I’m working on helping an adviser transition to our firm, it’s important that I keep at the core the most important thing – doing right by the adviser.

It starts the second they decide to join. How we perform as a team for our advisers during their transition to our organization sets the table for many years of a strong and prosperous relationship. 

It all starts with identifying a mutual interest and compatibility.  Take into account the potential for a solid cultural fit, their work/life balance, their current contractual obligations and how their compensation is being processed. As all of these details are being discussed, it sometimes means telling a person they are not ready yet to embark upon this journey, because they’re not prepared for a successful transition. The goal is to have a positive experience for the adviser and their clients. A financial adviser’s transition into a firm should be considered akin to a college visit or visiting a wedding venue – first impressions really matter as they set the tone for the rest of the experience.

A plan for yourself is a plan for the future of your firm

After we a financial adviser is truly ready to transition, create a custom transition calendar including product mapping, business planning and marketing support. The calendar is then updated weekly. This ensures that everyone involved in the transition process knows what is expected of them and how things are moving.

One thing I’ve emphasized in my years of managing transitions is the significant emotional impacts of leaving a firm and joining a new one. It’s important for a financial adviser to acknowledge their time at their previous firm and let go of any of the challenges they had. Transitions to a new firm are an opportunity for financial advisers to grow their business, their way; to be introduced to more complex clients they wouldn’t have reached otherwise. Some people feel that their personal “story” as an advisor has been limited or not told in the way that they wanted it to be at their previous firm; transitions are a time to rewrite that story.

If done properly and all parties are fully engaged in the transition process, we can successfully get financial advisers signed on and ready to start within six weeks. But that requires a full commitment from everyone. Transitions are a two-way street.

This transition management process must truly be an investment, both financially and time-wise. And we have chosen to devote those resources to this process which has proven successful for us. I would encourage other firms to consider what I previously said about a good transition needing to be as positive an experience as possible because it sets the financial adviser on the right footing to have a successful tenure at the firm. Perhaps your firm can take some of these suggestions and find a way that they work for you.

I’m fortunate to often hear “Joining Integrated Partners was the best business decision I’ve ever made.” I hope you get to hear those same words, with your firm the recipient of the praise.  Words like these will get you out of bed in the morning ready to tackle any challenges that come your way, on behalf of the advisors you serve. 

Andree Peterson is chief implementation officer at Integrated Partners.