As a trusted advisor, you’re always thinking three steps ahead in order to ensure that your clients’ needs are met and their expectations exceeded. It would stand to reason that you should do the same for yourself when it comes to your business. So, while you may be running on all cylinders and you worry about getting distracted, conducting due diligence at a time of relative calm is often the most opportune. In fact, no matter how content you are, remaining educated on an industry landscape that has changed dramatically will provide you with a sense of control.
So much has changed
Prior to the financial crisis, the financial services industry had been a relatively static business, but today it looks and feels vastly different. In 2009, for many wirehouse advisors, a reasonable plan B would have only meant a deal from another wirehouse. While that certainly remains a viable option, today’s industry landscape includes a number of models that have proven to be formidable competitors to the major firms. Regional firms – along with quasi-independent boutiques and independent models that didn’t exist years ago – have been legitimate landing pads for many of the industry’s leading advisors and teams.
What’s best for your clients
Hard lessons were surely learned during the financial meltdown of 2008. Clients no longer simply trusted an organization because of its name. They did, however, develop a greater appreciation for the advisor that they dealt directly with. And likewise, many advisors took it upon themselves to act as a fiduciary to their clients, and as such, it remains your responsibility to ensure that you are in the very best place to serve them.
A hyper-vigilant climate
Advisors today face a myriad of new challenges including a changing regulatory environment that has resulted in hyper-vigilant compliance. The climate is one of zero tolerance for even minor compliance infractions and even the most high quality compliant advisors are apt to find themselves under greater scrutiny. As a result, most advisors feel worried and limited. What may have been common sales practice years ago is no longer and, as evidence of that, we’ve seen a spate of terminations among high profile, long tenured folks.
The message: Having a plan B at the ready is not because you fear termination; the act of getting educated and performing due diligence creates an opportunity so that if you choose to stay put, you do so from a position of greater strength. And, doing so when the seas are calm and you can think clearly will ensure that you are making the best decisions for you and your clients.