CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Even with a succession plan in place, some executives may still have a difficult time giving up the reins.

Michael Chasnoff, president and founder of Truepoint Wealth Council in Cincinnati explains why.

“When we all get started with our practices --  we are doing everything,” said Chasnoff,  during a panel discussion at NAPFA’s Evolution Now conference this week. He said the joy he felt when he began running his business, has now been replaced by that of watching his staff enjoy success.

“As you start delegating and empowering…" he said, "You can find joy in seeing the other advisors growing.”

With roughly 800 clients and $2 billion AUM, Chasnoff has begun to transition some of his  responsibilities over to his staff, admitting that he plans on, “potentially moving halfway out” of the CEO position. He envisions settling into a chairman's role in five years, although he followed up quickly to say he would still be engaged in the things he does today, assuring himself and the audience that he would continue overseeing the operation of the firm.

In an attempt to give up some control over the firm’s day-to-day operations, Chasnoff is easing out of the role of CEO of the firm he founded.

Here are five ways he is altering his responsibilities:

1. Employ a good staff.  “We have four, fully built-out specialist teams,” Chasnoff says. These teams oversee client services in the areas of financial planning, investment management, tax and estate planning. “It’s the responsibility of the wealth advisor to coordinate those resources as needed to match up with clients’ unique goals and objectives.”

2. Learn to delegate. The first step in giving up some of his tasks was to delegate responsibilities to other advisors on his team, he says. “Every time you step away and detach a little bit from what you’re doing you’re probably getting someone that is better at doing that for you.” He admits that many advisors will have to delegate responsibilities that they enjoy doing. However it is important to allow younger advisors to gain more responsibility within the firm.

3. Pick your responsibilities wisely. “I’m in charge of doing the visioning and coming up with our strategic plans,” he says. “I really enjoy that innovative creative side, but big new ideas don’t come around every day. You have to get your joy from your people and your family.”

4. Continue to lead. Despite knowing that he will have to inevitably take less of a role in the firm, Cashnoff said that he plans on maintaining a presence in the firm he founded. “I still want to lead by example,” he says.  One way he does this is by creating a “wordle,” or word cloud that highlights positive words reflective of the way his employees should treat each other.  “We want to remind everyone in the firm that we hold each other accountable, and the way we respect one another.”

5. Be present to clients. Although Chasnoff admitted to not meeting with clients regularly, he does carve time out to join some of the meetings that take place with the top 10% of clients and their wealth advisors.

“Whenever they are in the office I come in and am part of that meeting,” he says. “Sometimes I stay longer and engage in some of planning discussions. And sometimes it’s just a meet-and-greet. Clients like that I’m still engaged, and I think it’s important to have that face time.”

Read more:

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Financial Planning content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access