Why Changing Firms Can Benefit You and Your Clients and How To Prepare For the Move

Why Changing Firms Can Benefit You and Your Clients and How To Prepare For the Move

September 22, 2022

Why Changing Firms Can Benefit You and Your Clients and How To Prepare For the Move


Making the decision to change firms can be a daunting process for any financial advisor. It is a leap into the unknown that is wrought with fear and hesitation. Unfortunately, this same hesitation is what keeps so many advisors from taking the journey towards finding the right home.

While changing firms does require planning, it’s important to consider your goals: where do you want to be in five years and how is your current firm helping you get there? Are you facing a lack of support or a challenging workplace culture? Do you want the freedom and autonomy to make better decisions for your clients? These are the same thoughts that some of our own experienced advisors had and the three steps they took towards making a change:


Step One: Recognize the Problem

Financial Planner, Erik Bloomfield, decided to take the leap when he joined our team in 2021. He shares, “I recognized the cultural differences–how out of place I was with a fire-fighting organization versus one that had a true process orientation. I am an engineer by education, and I am accustomed to a zero-defect culture; no detail that can be controlled is too small to control…now, when I pick up the phone and speak with the trading desk, I know I’m working with professionals that care about my challenges in the field. I spend very little time, like I used to, doing things twice or thrice to get results.”

 
Step Two: Work with Your New Team to Prepare Your Clients

While Erik had a positive moving experience, his journey did require careful planning: “I anticipated the difficulty of moving clients since there are many moving parts; but some firms like Michigan Financial Companies have already mastered this. I believe I had 85% of my business transitioned within 90-days and the process was mostly defect-free. My clients were very happy with the transition process, and I don’t believe I experienced a single complaint. They understood the transition and agreed with my rationale for making the move.”

 
Step Three: Have a Vision for Your Practice

Financial Planner, Gurveer Mann, also decided to make a change when he left his previous company after working with them for six years. He shared: “When I worked at my previous broker-dealer, I didn’t have a work family or a true support system. Their culture was focused on their own agendas and products; the clients always came second to that. At Michigan Financial Companies, I have a network of senior advisors that I engage with on a regular basis. We share experiences, philosophies, and strategies that help us all grow together and that always keeps our clients front of mind.”

 
“This has never been more critical than it is today. Markets are volatile and every client needs a team in their corner that can help them to understand what is happening. There is so much noise with digital ads, Super Bowl commercials, giant billboards…it’s overwhelming for clients. They need a team like ours that can communicate with them and give them the right guidance and that’s why I’m here.”

 
As you start to search for a new firm that will help you to reach your goals, be sure to do your research. You will want to identify a firm that you will stay with for at least the next 10 years. If you are still not sure about whether a change is right for you, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • When you try to confront obstacles with your current broker-dealer or OSJ, are they able to make changes with you and help you reach success?
  • As an entrepreneur, are your clients considered to be yours or do they belong to your firm? Are you in charge of your own succession plan?
  • Does your firm allow you to have a work-life balance and build your schedule and income goals?
  • Do you have autonomy to make your own decisions and run your practice as an individual advisor?
  • Does your firm incentivize you to sell specific products over others? Do you put your clients at a disadvantage by using proprietary products?
  • Does your team struggle with risk management and devising advanced investment strategies?

 

Changing firms is all about due diligence — both with your new team and with your clients. You will want to start by outlining your goals in measurable terms. If the firm you are considering joining can’t support these goals, continue searching. Ask thoughtful questions about your current challenges, speak with advisors who are currently employed there, and read what others have to say about working there. These are all steps that you can take to help you make the right decision and step into a better environment. After putting in the work required for a successful move, your short-term challenges should eventually lead to empowering your future with long-term success.


We are strongly committed to diversity and equal opportunity. Securities and investment advisory services offered through Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. member FINRA/SIPC. Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. is separately owned and other entities and/or marketing names, products or services referenced here are independent of Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. 28411 Northwestern Hwy., Suite 1300, Southfield, MI 48034. 248-663-4700.