The ClientWise Blog

Profit or Purpose: What Truly Drives You?

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jun 22, 2016 12:11:09 PM

People work for three reasons: to create safety, to create freedom of choice, and to create meaning in their lives. Yet all too often, we tend to wrap all three of these things in purely monetary terms – obscuring what genuinely motivates us.

Every successful wealth management team leader that I have ever spent time with, however, has been driven by something far deeper than mere financial reward. They are driven by something that fuels continued business growth, inspires their service delivery model, governs the manner in which they’ve built and lead their teams, and shapes the ongoing satisfaction they take from their chosen career. So, what drives you? 

Read More

Enjoyed this article? Click here to subscribe!

ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: financial advisor mission statement

Wealth Management Advisors: Identify Your At-Risk Clients

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jun 20, 2016 4:19:11 PM

Lately, in talking with financial advisors, I’m getting a sense that clients have finally settled down a bit after the heightened volatility that ushered in the New Year. Enough positive economic news along with abating fears about a China meltdown have served to calm the waters enough to fuel a bounce back that made quarterly statements a lot more palatable to mail.

Even despite one of the presidential candidate’s efforts to open a proverbial bag of snakes with pronouncements that “a massive recession” is looming, my sense is that most of your clients are back and becoming increasingly engaged. This may be an opportune time to pause and assess any relationship damage that may have occurred over time.

Read More

Enjoyed this article? Click here to subscribe!

ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Client Engagement

Is Your Kid the Right Succession Plan for Your Business?

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jun 15, 2016 4:17:02 PM

Perhaps no generation is as misunderstood as millennials – the people who represent the future of our financial services business. We tend to haphazardly paint their ranks with an incredibly broad brush as self-centered narcissists, lacking all manners in social skills as a result of growing up behind a computer screen.

Spend any considerable amount of time with these 20-somethings, however, and you quickly begin to realize how socially-aware, compassionate and relationship-oriented so many of them are. They simply have a different approach to communicating and engaging than previous generations.

But what if that millennial is your own kid, and possibly the future leader of your firm?

Read More

Enjoyed this article? Click here to subscribe!

ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Business and Operations Management, Team Development, Succession Planning

Serving the Heirs of Your Clients’ Wealth

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jun 7, 2016 4:00:00 PM

While the statistics vary slightly, time and again they all point to the fact that unless you change your process, the likelihood of holding onto your current clients’ assets once they transition to the next generation are slim. In fact, for most accounts significantly less than 20% of those assets will remain with your firm post-intergenerational transfer.

It’s the elephant in the room that few advisors seem to want to talk about, hoping that somehow their practice is inherently different as they whistle past the graveyard.

So what exactly can you do?

Read More

Enjoyed this article? Click here to subscribe!

ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Client Acquisition, Client Engagement

Top 10 Secrets of the Best Financial Advisors in the Business

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jun 2, 2016 12:39:32 PM

What is that “secret sauce” that enables Advisor A to take a $10MM AUM solo practice and build it into a $1+ billion multi-advisor business, while Advisor B with the same intellect and credentials struggles to surpass the $25MM mark? It’s a question that, given my unique opportunity to work with hundreds of advisors across a diverse array of practice types, I get asked at least a handful of times nearly every day.

 

 

Read More

Enjoyed this article? Click here to subscribe!

ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Business and Operations Management, Team Development, coaching for financial advisors

Happy Memorial Day: Let Us Honor Our Fallen Heroes

Posted by Ray Sclafani on May 27, 2016 3:17:55 PM

As most have already headed out to enjoy a long weekend, let us not forget that The National Moment of Remembrance, established by Congress, simply asks, wherever you might be at 3:00 p.m. your local time, to pause in an act of national unity for one minute. Here is a link to the 106th Congress Public Law 579. 

Read More

Enjoyed this article? Click here to subscribe!

ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

I'm on Social Media, Now What?

Posted by Ray Sclafani on May 26, 2016 9:52:52 AM

From time to time, I write about the growing relevance and importance of social media. Unfortunately, for many of you affiliated with broker-dealers, the topic has proven to be a veritable minefield of shifting internal policies and procedures. Let’s be honest – a social media policy that relies on pushing out pre-approved “canned” messages and insights that bear little to no resemblance to your unique personality, style, tone or views, is by and large doomed to fail. But just how engaged with social media are your wealthy, older clients? Is it a genuinely viable communication channel?

Read More

Enjoyed this article? Click here to subscribe!

ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Social Media, social media for wealth management advisors

Keeping Your Wealth Management Team Fully-Engaged

Posted by Ray Sclafani on May 21, 2016 9:00:00 AM

At the beginning of the year, you and your team were fired up and ready to rock-and-roll, committed to 2016 being your firm’s best year ever. Like straight-A students on the first day of class, you had your pencils sharpened and your growth plan for the year all laid out in front of you like a course syllabus.

Now that the first quarter is over, however, are your team members as engaged in the plan as they were back in December when you inked it?

Read More

Enjoyed this article? Click here to subscribe!

ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Team Development, wealth management teams, wealth management team exercises

Will the Fiduciary Rule Open the M&A Floodgates?

Posted by Ray Sclafani on May 18, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Over the last two weeks alone, I’ve had no fewer than eight clients say to me that they’re throwing in the towel as a result of the DOL’s new Fiduciary Rule. “You know what, I’m done. I just don’t have the stomach to go through another reinvention of my business all over again. I successfully made the difficult transition from commission to fee-based business, but now my broker-dealer is going to demand that I jump through all these additional compliance-related tasks…I’m done!” So, what are the repercussions? 

Read More

Enjoyed this article? Click here to subscribe!

ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: DOL ruling

How to Avoid Benchmarking Your Way to Mediocrity

Posted by Ray Sclafani on May 11, 2016 4:05:09 PM

Ours is an industry seemingly obsessed with benchmarking – whether it’s the performance of our investment portfolios or the performance of our businesses; we want to know what everyone else is doing. Those things that the majority of firms are doing, we quickly christen as “best practices” and hold them up as models for others to emulate. 

Read More

Enjoyed this article? Click here to subscribe!

ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Business and Operations Management, metrics, how advisors should benchmark their practices

Short-Term Comp = Long-Term Headaches

Posted by Ray Sclafani on May 5, 2016 3:17:44 PM

In just the past few weeks alone, I’ve come across no fewer than a half-dozen situations where highly successful advisors suddenly find themselves hamstrung by compensation decisions they made years or even decades earlier. As rapid practice growth (both organic and via acquisition) continues to accelerate, it’s a challenge that I expect will likely touch more and more firm principals in the foreseeable future.

Read More

Enjoyed this article? Click here to subscribe!

ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Business and Operations Management, compensation

Wealth Advisors: What is Your Business Really Worth?

Posted by Ray Sclafani on May 3, 2016 2:06:11 PM

Every advisor – whether thinking about selling their firm or not – wants to know the value of their business. It’s simply human nature to be curious about how much your years of sweat equity are really worth. As one of your largest assets, it’s essential for planning purposes to have a clear idea of your practice’s value. So, how much is your wealth management business actually worth?             

Read More

Enjoyed this article? Click here to subscribe!

ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Business and Operations Management, selling your wealth management business

The Biggest Inhibitor to Your Firm's Growth? It May Be You.

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Apr 27, 2016 3:05:50 PM

Frequently when I speak at advisor events, I’ll ask attendees what they believe to be the greatest impediment to their firm’s future growth. More often than not, the smarter advisors in the room hone in on “a lack of capacity.” Yet, many of these very same advisors tend to be their own worst enemy in that regard – by holding on too tightly to the reins of their practice. There’s no getting around the fact that sooner or later, any growth-focused firm that’s overly dependent on its senior advisor or founder is going to have capacity issues. So, what can you do about it?

Read More

Enjoyed this article? Click here to subscribe!

ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Leadership, Team Development, wealth management teams, wealth management advisors

8 Accelerators for Transformational Change

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Apr 12, 2016 11:30:00 AM


I recently came across a terrific older article in the Harvard Business Review that articulated in very specific detail an optimal organizational structure to empower “transformational change.” The author’s underlying premise was that we need to capture some of that quick adaptability and flexibility that enabled our firms to grow rapidly from fledgling start-ups to well-entrenched practices by creating a sense of urgency and focus around a single opportunity.

Read More

Enjoyed this article? Click here to subscribe!

ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Team Development, wealth management teams, wealth management advisors

Creating a Positive Wealth Management Team Culture

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Apr 8, 2016 11:02:52 AM

We focus so much on acquisition, portfolio management, client issues and day-to-day operations that we rarely have time to sit back and take stock of the state of our team. It’s a by-product of the fast-paced business we’re in – and anyway, does corporate culture honestly need to be all that high on your priority list? 

Read More

Enjoyed this article? Click here to subscribe!

ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Leadership, Team Development, team leadership, team coaching, wealth management teams