What You Should Know
We often take for granted the tools and utilities enabling us to prosper, so being aware of the systems, support, and tools available to you can help ensure the right firm for you.
Below are several areas you should keep in mind when deciding on a new firm:
How does the new firm’s technology compare to your current system? What does a typical client statement and/or report tool look like? Ask to see examples. Do they provide on-boarding technology training for you and your team? Do they have regional technology trainers? Do they have remote access capabilities? What features does it offer? Ask to see a workstation and some of the basic day-to-day functions you would perform. Do they have dynamic or static FA websites?
What does it look like? Where will you sit? Where will your CSA/Partners sit? Will you have any say in the decisions on space? What will your clients think when they come to visit? Is it comfortable? Many clients will base their perceptions and judgements on how the office space looks and makes them feel.
How well will your business model, investment selections and services match the firm? What will the impact be on your clients and their portfolios? How difficult will it be to move over your clients’ existing portfolios over without change?
What are the production requirements for sales support? Do they provide one, or can you bring your existing Sales Assistant? The support staff places great value on benefits. How do the benefits in your new firm compare with your existing firm? Many firms have a ratio of $1.6 million in revenue per support person. Are you higher or lower than this? If so, how does your new firm plan on handling this? Is your existing CSA crucial to you or will they provide someone else?
Can your existing designations move over to the new firm? Are your designations approved to be shown on your business cards and advisor websites?
Most major firms are part of the new Recruiting Protocol Agreement. Is the new firm part of the Protocol? Ask to speak with someone about their recruiting protocol policy. Understanding the Broker Recruiting Protocol facilitates can be difficult. Following the firm’s guidance is critical in having their support during this period of time. Does the firm draft your resignation letter? Does the firm provide an attorney to represent you during your transition to the new firm?
How does your existing coverage compare to the new firm? If you have pre-existing conditions, ask to speak with their Human Resource Generalist or their Employee Benefits Department. Don’t assume it is covered.
Ask for a copy of the firm’s complete compensation guide in order to enable you to compare all aspects to your existing plan. Does the grid differentiate between different types of products and services? Many firms can provide a compensation analysis of your production based on their current compensation plan. Find out how the firm has changed their plans in the past, and what types of changes they made. How does the firm handle State registration fees?
Retirement Transition Options:
What types of deferred compensation and retirement plans are available? Do they match contributions? What strategies do they have for advisors looking to transition out of the business? Can you benefit from other advisors looking to retire? This has become a great way for advisors to grow and for firms to retain retiring advisor assets.
Does the firm and/or local manager have an expense policy for marketing, client events, etc.? Does the firm sponsor local events for clients and/or prospects? How will the manager support you and your business? Understand the manager’s expense policy methodology. This will determine what they will pay for and what they will not. What type of client fee waiver policy does the firm have, and for how long?
How does the new firm help facilitate the moving of your book during the first few weeks/months of the transition? Do they have a transition team? How long do they work with you? What is their reimbursement policy for ACAT and other fees when accounts move over? Will you have the opportunity to place personal notes in FedEx packages before they go out to clients? Get a sample of a client package. Determine whether you will be hand-delivering any packages during the days immediately following the move.
Are you eligible for firm sponsored coaching workshops? Does the firm partner/pay for outside coaching programs? Do they have internal coaching teams or training sessions? What are the requirements?
Do they have trips? What are the qualification requirements? When are you eligible to qualify? What other types of trips does the new firm sponsor?
How will your new business card look? Will your existing titles transfer over and be eligible for placement on your new card?
How will the firm help you handle moving your personal belongings from your old firm?
Want to learn more about the important questions to ask your potential new employer? Contact us today to recieve our special questionnaire:
Our customized document contains questions that our advisor clients should be asking prospective new firms. It will ensure you leave no stone unturned.