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Building a Successful Financial Advisor Team

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Staying on top of market news, regulatory updates, portfolio performance, client questions, and meeting with new prospects … the list goes on. There’s a lot for you to manage as a financial advisor. So, how do you maintain it all while growing your practice? You don’t – at least not on your own

Here’s a breakdown of the benefits of creating a multi-advisor team, along with ideas on how to structure your team for success.

How Does a Multi-Advisor Team Contribute to Success?

Doing it all on your own is neither sustainable nor enjoyable. It’s stressful and can lead to burnout, a common problem within the industry. In a 2019 survey, 71% of financial advisors said they experience moderate or high negative stress, and they feel their situation is getting worse. 

Shouldering professional responsibilities on your own also hinders your ability to keep up with growing client expectations. The result? Failure to convert prospects to clients. Or, even worse, losing existing clients.

Burnout and client attrition has motivated advisors to develop multi-advisor teams, reducing stress while benefiting from increased efficiencies and delineated responsibilities. Going this route allows you to focus on your preferred responsibilities while letting someone else delve into the less appealing tasks. This helps to keep your passion alive for a more enjoyable, fulfilling career.

Which Approach Is Best When Creating a Team Model?

One widely successful approach is a 3-advisor team model. It’s a scalable approach that works for firms of all sizes – whether you have 3 or 30 advisors within your practice. 

There are a variety of methodologies you can use to build your teams. Some firms group advisors based on seniority, with each team having a lead advisor and two junior advisors. Others bring together professionals according to their strengths and passions – whether that’s client acquisition, relationship management, or portfolio research.

Whichever direction you choose, be sure to clearly define your firm’s methodology. How will you group advisors, and what will be their specific roles? Documenting your approach establishes a consistent, replicable method for future growth.

Potential Roles for a 3-Person Advisor Team 

Here’s an example of a three-pronged approach. It’s roles-based, focusing on business development, portfolio and market research, and client management.

1. Business Development – AKA “The Rainmaker”

This is your marketing and acquisition expert. They focus on client acquisition, referrals, and retention, as well as uncovering merger and acquisition (M&A) opportunities. This person often has a well-developed center of influence (COI) network.

With the ever-evolving digital landscape, business development looks vastly different than it did just 10 years ago. That rapid evolution is likely to continue, making it critical to have a clearly defined marketing strategy. Advisors who successfully do so reap the rewards – onboarding nearly twice as many clients as those who don’t. 

Here are some of the responsibilities you may consider for your business-development expert:

  • Developing and managing a marketing and sales strategy
  • Attracting prospective clients
  • Attracting new employees and advisors
  • Leading M&A initiatives
  • Helping the other team members develop their COIs
  • Boosting existing client profitability by segmenting your book of business

2. Portfolio & Market Monitoring – AKA “The Researcher”

The Researcher specializes in custom-crafting and managing financial plans, digging into industry trends, and uncovering new investment opportunities to optimize client portfolios. This advisor is all about the data and is skilled at applying it to their clients’ needs.

Bridging the gap between client goals and portfolio performance is critical. A 2020 study by AIG Life & Retirement and MIT AgeLab found 19% of clients were considering leaving their financial professional, with one of the top two reasons being portfolio performance. 

Here are some of the responsibilities you may want to consider for your portfolio- & market-monitoring expert:

  • Researching investment opportunities
  • Monitoring market performance and client data to develop portfolio models and strategies
  • Analyzing data obtained through client onboarding to develop individual financial plans
  • Implementing financial plans, including managing and updating client portfolios
  • Preparing investment performance reports and income projections for clients

3. Client Management – AKA “The Relationship Guru” 

Do you have a new client to onboard? The Relationship Guru is your go-to source. They tackle all things client management, including establishing new client accounts and expanding existing relationships through loyalty programs, client appreciation events, and ongoing touchpoints. 

This advisor also serves as the primary contact for clients when they have questions or concerns. These conversations often span beyond market-specific concerns, delving into more personal matters. It’s a critical role, as 1 in 4 clients will leave their financial advisor if they feel a lack of personal connection

Here are some responsibilities you may consider for your client management expert:

  • Meeting with new clients to build a holistic financial picture and establish objectives and goals
  • Answering client questions about financial plans, strategies, and market events
  • Managing ongoing client review meetings to fine-tune financial plans
  • Maintaining ongoing client communications  

Don’t Forget the Power of External Partners  

Building a strong internal team puts you on the path to success. Leveraging the power of external partners helps you go the extra mile. With the support of partners outside your company, you’re able to deliver additional tools, technology, and financial vehicles to your clients without increasing your team’s workload. 

This includes Axos Advisor. We’re here with banking products that combine innovative technology with relationship-based service to help position you as the holistic advisor your clients seek. Email [email protected] to learn how to add us to your team.

Building a Successful Financial Advisor Team

This blog was published by Axos Bank on February 16, 2022, and last updated on February 16, 2022.

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