WHAT FINANCIAL ADVISORS MUST CONSIDER BEFORE MOVING CLIENTS TO ANOTHER FIRM
With today’s accelerated mergers and acquisitions, financial advisors may have no choice except to transition to a new firm; for others, it’s often the best way to improve profitability and offer better client service to switch firms. This transition, while often necessary, is rarely easy for you – or your clients.
In addition to these barriers there are also risks raised by elements of the nature of the switching process itself. After all, what client would welcome visiting their former bank or custodian web site only to find an unexpected account balance of zero? Advisers who have switched firms before know first-hand what these phone calls are like and the damage this kind of confusion can do to an otherwise healthy advisor-client relationship. Add to this the hassle of walking clients through the process of setting up new usernames and passwords and what you find is that the process of transitioning firms online can be a significant barrier for clients, even if the switch is in their best interest.
This client online experience with their advisor can either be source of concern or an opportunity for enhancing the advisory relationship. Many savvy advisors use firm switches and the moments of client interaction they create as an opportunity for client re-engagement and relationship building.
For the forward thinking advisor, it can get even more complicated;
does the new firm offer technology that I could take with me if I make a move again?
One way to accomplish this positive twist on an otherwise tricky to navigate event is for the moving advisor (or advisor considering moving) to adopt the latest and independent account aggregation portal technology. This simplifies the firm switch for financial advisors and their clients from one broker/dealer or custodian to another by providing clients with one unified platform and log-in for viewing their information online. Adopting a streamlined approach for consistent and easy account access, regardless of the underlying firm, is a powerful way for financial advisors to take the pain out of the firm switch for clients.
The advent of account aggregation portals empower advisors to monitor their broker/dealer or custodian arrangements on an ongoing basis, and if or when it makes sense for all stakeholders, make firm switches without the worry of eroding client confidence by making them jump through hoops. Imagine this, as you transition your clients continue to login to the advisor portal using their same usernames and passwords, helping the switch look and feel seamless.
Adding the target custodian or B/D accounts prior to funding allows the client to know when the account is funded and helps them understand why their old account no longer has a balance.
Clients today demand higher levels of technological sophistication and convenience from their advisors than ever before, meaning that even advisors not considering a firm switch will benefit from adopting a robust and proven aggregation portal. In today’s world clients tend to vote with their feet when it comes to the ease of use and simplicity of financial services online, making it more important than ever for financial advisors to offer solutions designed to simplify the client experience and keep the advisor – not their firm – center stage.