Setting up and running a new firm can be complicated. The list of things to do can seem never-ending, so it’s important for financial advisors to have a strategic partner who can help them before, during and after they make the leap to independence.
“A financial advisor who is transitioning to independence may face many unknowns as to what it takes to go independent. The great news is there are organizations, such as TruClarity, that exist to help transition advisors,” says Pam Stross, chief operating officer of TruClarity and president of TruClarity Management Solutions. “Advisors’ expertise lies in creating trusting and lasting relationships with their clients. If they work for a really large organization, they don’t have to think about, for example, how the bills get paid, how payroll and benefits happen.”
Time is a major factor for financial advisors transitioning to independence. The transition usually takes about six months, and during that time a financial advisor is focused on continuing to service their clients at a high level while trying to carve out time outside of that to start a new business. “Financial advisors in transition have a really heavy load, so anything we can take off their plate helps,” Stross says.
A financial advisor in transition needs to find a strategic partner that allows him or her to:
- Stay in the loop but out of the weeds so they can focus on continuing to serve their clients.
- Be the decision-maker but empower others to work through the details of the transition plan to independence.
- Make the best use of their valuable and limited time. Handling the needs of their client base daily while working nights to open their own business can get exhausting quickly.
- Stay compliant. Achieve a protocol-compliant launch of their new RIA to ensure he or she can transition their clients as quickly as possible.
TruClarity works as the researcher, recruiter and liaison for critical vendors such as custodians, compliance solutions, technology platforms, marketing agencies, human resources, benefits and IT support. We act as the financial advisor’s office manager and negotiator. We also manage the buildout of their offices. “The advisors literally just have to focus on bringing their clients over,” Stross says.
The importance of having a trusted partner is just as critical after the financial advisor makes the leap to independence. The headaches involved in owning their own business do not need to dominate a newly independent advisor’s time. An advisor’s talents are building trust and maintaining meaningful relationships. Becoming a business owner requires additional talents that demand even more valuable time.
Back-office functions such as HR and accounting do not produce revenue, although they are key to keeping a business in great shape and operating efficiently. Marketing is another important yet time consuming task but necessary to help advisors grow their business. This is where TruClarity’s back-office solutions can take the burden off the independent advisor.
“Once the advisor officially launches their RIA, they are busy working with clients. We offer critical operational services to save them time,” Stross says. “Anything that takes them away from working with their clients is not a productive use of their time and can negatively impact the ability to grow their practice.”
It is smart for advisors to hire a partner that can help transition them to independence and take care of the back-office operations of their independent firm so they can focus on working on their practice rather than in their practice.