My client came to me with 27 years of experience at his captive firm. His business had grown into a substantial practice yet he was being limited by the constraints of his broker-dealer to grow with his top-end clients. His frustrations led him to question whether he was aligned in the right model and his tenure with the firm gave him pause at leaving.
Through several meetings and phone calls we discussed his firms strengths and weaknesses and compared them to the industry as a whole. I laid out the channels that are available to advisors today and we discussed the possibilities and limitations within each segment. I armed him with reading materials to increase his knowledge on the landscape outside his firm and grasp an understanding of what his industry peers are doing.
After several months my client decided to formally engage and the research and learning began. I mapped out a time commitment he needed to make for the project and we arraigned a standing weekly phone conversation. I then set about breaking down his options and introducing him to firms that formed possibilities for his practice. Through intense discussion, thorough note taking, and reading we compared the field and laid out a direction he wanted to go. Interestingly, it was an option that he had not previously understood, nor thought would be a possibility for his business.
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Because my client was with a captive firm that would not take kindly to his departure, we took great care in understanding the ramifications of a move. We spoke with several legal experts, we laid out rules for our communication, and guidelines he needed to follow with his client data.
From a long list, we narrowed down his business platform to a custodian for his fee-based assets and a broker-dealer relationship for his substantial but shrinking transactional brokerage business. Choosing the custodian and the broker-dealer, we clearly outlined a 5-year plan as his business revenue transitioned increasingly and finally, exclusively, to fee revenue.