Effectively managing change requires a delicate balance between the excitement of new opportunities and the apprehension of leaving the familiar behind. At The Gershman Group, we understand that this process involves not only structural adjustments but also emotional considerations. A valuable tool we recommend is creating a comprehensive list of the current situation’s pros and cons alongside those of a potential move, grounding advisors in the decision-making process.
LIST OF PROS & CONS
Often, when advisors outline their current situation, the need for a change becomes evident as the cons outweigh the pros. Just as in personal relationships, acknowledging the necessity of change can evoke a mix of exhilaration and apprehension. It’s essential to recognize that achieving our deepest aspirations often requires embracing risk and change. Keeping the list of reasons for change visible serves as a powerful reminder of the necessity for this transformation.
The next crucial step is evaluating various options. Before engaging with potential firms, we advise advisors to clearly define their desires and non-negotiables. This ensures that meetings align with their specific needs. We encourage advisors to explore a diverse array of options to confidently select the platform that best suits them.
Conducting a thorough competitive analysis of the platforms/firms under consideration spans various categories. Organizing this information in an Excel spreadsheet allows for detailed note taking during meetings. Factors to consider range from platform capabilities, technology, compliance, operations, cultural fit, office environment, brand image, website functionality, marketing support, transition assistance, ADV/SEC compliance, to the financial aspects of the deal. Immersing oneself in technology demonstrations and office visits provides a tangible sense of what a transition might entail, whether for the better or worse.
Advisors often seek change to gain greater autonomy and control over their practice, along with economic considerations. It’s not uncommon for advisors to grapple with feelings of loyalty toward their current firm, especially after dedicating a significant portion of their career there. However, it’s crucial for advisors to evaluate their practice objectively, given their fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of their clients. Failing to do so carries increasingly severe consequences. Throughout their careers, most professionals weigh their options to ensure they are in the right place for both their own fulfillment and their clients’ well-being.
For advisors transitioning to full independence from a major wirehouse, the change may seem significant, but the rewards are substantial. Becoming a business owner with full control over one’s destiny, and the ability to tailor solutions for clients, is a commendable endeavor. We guide advisors through this process, recognizing that each independent platform presents unique considerations and transition steps. Advisors are flocking to independence in growing numbers, seeking relief from the oversight prevalent in larger firms and a desire for a stable foundation on which to build their practice.
While evaluating one’s practice and embarking on a change may appear daunting, a supportive team can streamline the process, ensuring the best interests of both advisors and clients are met. Remember that Regulation BI sets clear standards for conduct. A strategic move can substantially ease compliance while enhancing your overall satisfaction and fulfillment. If after careful assessment it is best to stay, advisors can feel comfort in that decision, if not, a move is equally worthy.