Most financial advisors change firms during the tenure of their careers for a variety of reasons. Navigating a smooth transition starts with a thorough vetting of at least five firms to find the right affiliation and business model to support the growth of your business. Here's why.
Once that decision has been made, it's important to focus on helping your clients make the transition as well.
Segmented Client List
A segmented client list will be crucial for organizing the first 90-days of your transition. Prioritize targeted clients whose asset management presents the greatest potential for growth.
As a rule of thumb, advisors providing strong customer service and enjoying solid relationships can expect 85%-90% of their targeted clients to make the move with them. Within the first 90 days of moving, 65%-70% of these client assets are likely to transfer with the remaining assets trickling in over the next three months.
Expect the first 90-days to be a hustle to communicate with your clients.
Don't underestimate the amount of time and multiple conversations some of your clients will require. This is particularly true for those who may be reluctant to move with you.
Be honest with yourself about the service level you have provided to your clients, especially those in your target segment. Report-card day is not the time to be surprised by your grade.
Perfect Your Pitch
Keep in mind: while changing firms is a major move in your world, clients often don't understand the urgency to fill out and return the paperwork to complete the asset transfer.
Explain why you are changing firms and how it will benefit the client. Let them know how the move means you can provide better service, whether it's with improved technology and compliance support or enhanced investment products.
Avoid Legal Red Tape
If moving efficiently in the first 90 days is crucial, nothing will slow you down more than legal red tape. Before you begin collecting contact information and reaching out to clients, understand the Protocol for Broker Recruiting governing the use of client information when registered representatives switch firms. Seek advice of an attorney, if necessary, to understand your contractual and legal obligations.
As in most things, communication preparation and organization will give clients the peace of mind to follow your lead and follow you to your next firm.