Having a solid foundation for an independent wealth management business to build upon is essential for consistent and scalable growth.  Before you make any major change or transition it is crucial to have a well-defined Vision and written Values Statement, develop a strongly disciplined team to execute on that vision, set meaningful and achievable goals and be prepared to resolve issues quickly and strategically.

Our role in supporting advisory teams in a transition is to help you clarify who you are, why you exist, and where you are going so that your organization’s expectations, processes, and goals are well defined and executed upon.  Below we discuss some of the often overlooked but most important factors when preparing your team for a transition.

  1. Define Roles & Responsibilities: Is the leadership team functional with clearly defined roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities? The team “visionary” needs an “integrator” to make sure things get done. One cannot be successful without the other.  Visionaries drive creative thought and innovation while Integrators create and maintain business harmony. Fusion partners with an EOS® certified professional who specializes in applying these systems and techniques to wealth management practices.* Learn more here. 
  2. Set a Date: A Goal without a Timeline is just a Wish! Commit to a date you are making a change – e.g. May 5th we will launch our new RIA firm.  Even if you don’t have all the answers now, you will be pleasantly surprised at how everything comes together once a date is chosen.  Our team will then create a project plan against this date with clearly defined tasks, decision-making points, and transition preparation.
  3. Vision Creation: It is important to understand who you are today what you want to be in the “NewCo” environment, for your employees and clients. Build a marketing message, specifically to your team. Consider “through this change I/we are creating a new culture and enhanced offerings for clients. We want you to be a part of it.” Understanding and considering your teams’ desires will help you make a decision all can live with. Even if it is your business and you make the final decision, knowing what they want will provide a more harmonious path to change while giving them confidence that you will lead them to a better place.*
  4. Organizational Chart:  Examine your business like a Board of Directors would through this simple exercise… a “functional” organization chart, removing any team member names, solely based on the role responsibilities and accountability (operations, marketing, finance, technology, compliance, investments, visionary, chief of staff…).  Now put your personnel names back onto the board… where do you have human capital gaps? Can they be solved by outsourcing the function? Does everyone fit into the “NewCo” Vision? Click here to receive a sample org chart and role clarity matrix.*
  5. Bring your team into the fold: What does my staff think? Key stakeholders need to feel their voice is heard. Pretend you are “recruiting” each member of your team and put yourself in their shoes… What does all this hard work mean to me? 
  6. NewCo Structure: Investigate options to share in the benefits… Real equity? Phantom equity? A share of profits? There is a multitude of options for you to consider. We begin this work at the very beginning of our consultation with a team. Even teams that are independent today, but looking to make a change, benefit from reviewing their current structure and considering alternate options. Your structure should incentivize key partners and employees while allowing you to maintain ultimate control of the business you worked hard to build.
  7. Check in with your people: Make sure you are completely in the loop with your team on any upcoming vacations or major life events… change is time-consuming and you want to make sure focus and support are available.
  8. Working Capital Solutions: Access to capital in our industry has never been greater. From personally guaranteed to revenue participation notes to private or traditional lenders – under most circumstances, you can ensure the business is funded to take worry off your team.
  9. Lead with Purpose: Be a leader! People respond well to strong and confident leaders. Have your vision and business plan crisp and analyze each decision-making point according to them. Not just a “pie in the sky”. Your team will sense the difference.
  10. Consult with a Pro: You are not alone, consider seeking consultative support to help you on the journey. Experts – lawyers, business coaches, compliance specialists – are all available to help you make sense of all of this! Having professional support from each subject matter will help your team feel confident about change and help you communicate effectively to them.*

Contact Us – For more information on how Fusion’s team can support your team’s preparation for change and transition services.

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Inquiries: Megan Hausmann, Partner | 760-889-8141 | mhausmann@fusionfinancialpartners.com

*Fusion partners with an EOS® certified professional who specializes in applying their systems and techniques to wealth management practices.  For some of the key elements listed above, we will bring the professional into Fusion’s traditional engagement process with advisory teams to complete the team of subject matter experts surrounding their practice.