Slideshow 20 Steps on the Road to Independence

Published
  • July 03 2013, 2:28pm EDT
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20 Steps on the Road to Independence

Independence is more than just a transition; it’s a transformation, an opportunity to own what you’ve created and a legacy you can pass on.

Here are 20 stops as you travel on your road to independence.

Source: Dynasty Financial Partners

20 Steps on the Road to Independence

Operating Agreement, payroll, accounting, legal structure, bank accounts, healthcare benefits, # of employees, titling structure and staffing, insurance for principles and staff.



“Creating a strong independent firm means starting with a solid business structure, and choosing the correct independent model to match an advisor’s entrepreneurial style. Completely independent, team tuck-in and hybrid are just some of the more popular choices.” – Shirl Penney, CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners

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20 Steps on the Road to Independence

Establish how much you will need for transition and first year, P&L analysis, breakaway payback.



“It’s vital to start out financially sound with long-term capital needs and current obligations sorted out. Not having to worry about financial issues frees up advisors to concentrate on business and clients.” – Shirl Penney, CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners

20 Steps on the Road to Independence

Retain lawyer, review existing employer agreement, prepare resignation letter, guidance on preparation of protocol client lists.



“The Broker Protocol establishes a framework for advisors who are moving firms or going independent in order to ensure smooth, conflict-free transitions, protect financial firm proprietary information and uphold client privacy.” – Shirl Penney, CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners

20 Steps on the Road to Independence

Lease space, telephone, cable, internet, computer systems, furniture, design and layout, signage.



“Location is vital, and transitioning teams should establish their new firms at the right address at an affordable price. By launch day there are a massive amount of details and tasks that need to happen very quickly, and teams will need to have a fully functioning, beta-tested office and hit the ground running.” – Shirl Penney, CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners

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20 Steps on the Road to Independence

Bloomberg, data feeds, business software and hardware, privacy and security policies, reporting software, research, mapping of accounts.



“Technology is critical to running a successful financial firm, and working with leading providers will ensure teams have cutting edge, integrated and evolving systems that far outpace legacy systems in wirehouses. Client-facing and back-end systems need to work together seamlessly across all CRM, transactional and reporting requirements.” – Shirl Penney, CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners

20 Steps on the Road to Independence

Legal counsel for transition and all legal and marketing documents. Licenses and registration issues.



“Having robust compliance expertise means SEC paperwork and matters are handled efficiently and accurately and all firm policies and procedures are in place. Teams get up and running sooner, and avoid surprises later on.” – Shirl Penney, CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners

20 Steps on the Road to Independence

Selection of appropriate custodian(s).



“Clients increasingly want to know their assets are safe, and now take a real interest in what custodian their financial advisor works with. Leading firms like Fidelity, Pershing, Schwab and others ensure cost-effective quality and service to keep advisor teams and their clients happy.” – Shirl Penney, CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners

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20 Steps on the Road to Independence

If you are not a broker/ dealer, you will need to hire one to clear your trades.



“One of the outstanding benefits of independence is becoming a client of the street. Since B/D’s compete for business, the level of service quality goes up while costs of doing business with them go down.” – Shirl Penney, CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners

20 Steps on the Road to Independence

Name, logo, branding, website, welcome kit, collateral materials, client letters, press releases, media training, advertising, sponsorships and social media.



“Without a wirehouse or bank brand to provide recognition and visibility, independent advisors have to think more about professional, effective and impactful marketing. They need a strong identity and presence from day one, along with complete compliance-approved communications materials and the strategic planning to make sure the right messages hit the right audiences and at the right time.” – Shirl Penney, CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners

20 Steps on the Road to Independence

Learn the Dynasty Platform – reporting, custody, investments, research and insurance.



“Whichever platform a transitioning team chooses, it should be as deep and wide in resources as it is in expertise, with access to the leading solutions and professionals from across the financial universe.” – Shirl Penney, CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners

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20 Steps on the Road to Independence

1. Plan all launch activities with proper staffing


2. Resignation submission


3. Launch Website


4. Mail “Welcome kit” to all clients


5. Press Release distribution


6. Outgoing client calls to key clients


7. Meet with legal team to discuss resignation particulars


8. Test all technology feeds and make certain everything is working


9. Set up key client meetings


10. Begin mapping and transferring assets


11. Meet with reporters to discuss launch of new firm




Pre-Launch
“As Launch Day approaches, advisors and their staffs have to be completely ready to make a clean, successful break. Like a dress rehearsal before opening night, every aspect of the business should be run through in complete detail. There is no room for failure.” – Shirl Penney, CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners



Launch Day
“On Launch Day things will happen very rapidly, but in prescribed sequence that advisor teams should have walked through step-by-step multiple times. The goal is to eliminate surprises and keep each detail moving ahead like clockwork.” – Shirl Penney, CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners

20 Steps on the Road to Independence

Complete client paperwork, sync custodial feeds, review fee structure, establish CRM function.



“Because appropriate time was taken to work through all the needs inherent to having an independent business, the process of running the administrative functions of the practice is completely straightforward. This includes everything from acquiring client documents to running billing cycles.” – Shirl Penney, CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners

20 Steps on the Road to Independence

Review client asset pool, decide on investment structures, transfer commission-based assets to new B/D, technology training, capital markets partners.



“Newly independent advisors have to work on both a macro and micro level to develop and implement a scalable investment strategy, and decide on which financial structures to utilize. The Dynasty model provides complete access to senior management to assist in this.” – Shirl Penney, CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners

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20 Steps on the Road to Independence

Familiarize households with new features, aggregate outside client assets, rank and categorize households, designate CRM roles, review roles in independent space (compliance, etc.)



“Running an independent business means making the most efficient use of time and resources to make it run better. Since best practices in practice management are constantly being refined and improved, advisors require access to expertise – as well as continuing training and development – to help them stay on the leading professional edge.” – Shirl Penney, CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners

20 Steps on the Road to Independence

Transfer legacy debt, run open auction process, assist with swaps, review release rates for securities.



“Clients need funding for a variety of purposes, and advisor teams that haven’t already implemented an effective debt management capability in their practices need to explore the best options. Providing expertise on both sides of the balance sheet means more effective planning for clients, and the potential to secure a great portion of client assets under management.” – Shirl Penney, CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners

20 Steps on the Road to Independence

Train on financial planning software, run first plan, present first plan to client, create planning strategy for clients and prospects.



“Independent advisors have to consistently maximize their financial planning capability and practice, and incorporate improved processes for utilizing planning to capture new clients and generate additional revenues.” – Shirl Penney, CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners

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20 Steps on the Road to Independence

Switch mindsets from launch to long term, map a year-long marketing and PR strategy, social media is your friend, use communications to stay relevant.



“There is a lot of excitement in a launch that can be used to build on and carry subsequent marketing efforts. The digital reality of real-time, always-on marketing – both inbound and outbound – means establishing a solid yet agile plan with a lot of moving parts.” – Shirl Penney, CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners

20 Steps on the Road to Independence

Review online capabilities for various insurance products, ensure proper licensing, discuss insurance with clients, run
analysis.



“Insurance often has great untapped potential when it comes to client financial planning, and advisors should be comfortable including a wide variety of insurance as an integrated part of effective plans.” – Shirl Penney, CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners

20 Steps on the Road to Independence

Review costs, discuss compensation structure, recruiting strategy, run pro-forma financials, new team transitions, technology upgrades.



“Once an advisor team goes independent and is managing their success, it’s time to think about managing the growth of their business. It’s important to make sure that growth is profitable, sustainable and strategic, from compensation structures to technology decisions.” – Shirl Penney, CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners

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20 Steps on the Road to Independence

Take a moment each day to savor the freedom, flexibility and rewards of independence and running your own practice.



“The number one insight voiced by independent advisors is they wished they had made the move sooner. At Dynasty Financial Partners, powering independence means helping make that move successful.” – Shirl Penney, CEO, Dynasty Financial Partners