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How to build your OSJ business and attract and retain advisers

OSJs that offer business strategy tools that support advisers are well-positioned to tap into growth opportunity

Nov 25, 2019 @ 11:35 am

By David Pologe

The adviser landscape is changing. Investors are demanding more from financial advisers, technology is impacting how advisers work with their clients, and a broadened fiduciary standard continues to encourage a shift to fee-based business. Financial advisers are increasingly looking to outsource or work with third-party vendors to streamline and scale their businesses and deliver the personalized and customized service investors are seeking. It's a demanding landscape that requires advisers to constantly evolve their practices.

It's also a landscape that presents a unique opportunity for managers of Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction (OSJ). OSJs can build their own businesses by boosting their services for financial advisers, such as onboarding, technology training, practice management, and back?office support. OSJs that offer business strategy tools that support advisers with marketing, investment, and compliance oversight are especially well-positioned to tap into this growth opportunity — and have greater revenue growth, more fee-based accounts, and higher revenue per adviser than traditional OSJs as a result.

So how can OSJs get to the next level?

Commit to the transition

OSJs should fully commit to their new business growth model. Those who have successfully built a team of advisers are dedicated to the ongoing effort of building a producer group, so be sure to give careful thought to how you will attract and retain talent that can execute your strategy.

Ask yourself: How can you structure recruiting practices that target the advisers who best fit your business model? What is your plan for delivering value to those advisers to ensure that you will retain them? Do you have a compelling technology offering? Will you have services to help financial advisers market their businesses? What operational services, like onboarding and succession planning, can you provide to make life easier? How can you optimize portfolio construction and analytics or provide back-office support to minimize administrative tasks?

Communicate your vision

Successful OSJs will also develop a clear vision for their practice. An ideal vision will consist of a defined, executable plan to create a sustainable, transferrable business. Having a vision and strongly encouraging your affiliated advisers to participate in that vision will help you build a more cohesive brand and business.

While pushing advisers to adopt specified technologies or processes might seem like a reason for them to leave, it can also serve as a force for good, preventing business from simply sticking to the status quo and becoming stagnant. Contrary to expectations, you don't need a critical mass of advisers at the onset to trigger growth. Instead, focus on clearly communicating your vision to the advisers you do have, so you can build a cohesive team that is willing to work with you towards a common goal.

Learn from others

Just as financial advisers seek specialists to support their businesses, successful OSJs consider the ideas and expertise of others to accelerate their business success.

Find like-minded individuals who share your goals and exchange ideas and strategies. Engage with industry groups, conferences, or other events to get exposure and learn tried and tested methods that will help you grow your business. Talk with financial advisers to uncover common challenges and gain insights into what client challenges are looming on the horizon.

[Recommended video: Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz: Power of creating financial accessibility]

It's much easier to embark on a robust business building strategy if you welcome an honest exchange of ideas. By looking closely at business building through the lens of financial advisers and your peers, you can better anticipate opportunities and adopt best practices for growth.

A robust commitment to business building, a fully crystallized vision, and an open dialogue with others can set an OSJ on the right track for sustained success.

David Pologe is senior vice president of Strategic Accounts at AssetMark.

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