The ClientWise Blog

How Much is that Advisor in the Window?

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

Perhaps more than any other industry, the financial advisory business is keenly attuned to benchmarks. You carefully watch major indices, craft investment portfolios to mirror or exceed certain benchmarks, and comb through the latest economic reports for signals. It’s only natural, therefore, when it comes to compensation most advisors would look to benchmarks in hopes of comparing their firm to what their peers are doing.

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

Topics: Business and Operations Management, compensation

Pt 1. Elevate Your Financial Advisor Business Plan

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Dec 10, 2015 3:58:40 PM

You spend your days counseling clients as to the critical importance of careful and proper planning. Yet a great many of you either don’t have a business plan, or haven’t revised and updated it since you first started practicing. So ask yourselves a few questions: Does your firm today look identical to how it looked on Day One? Do you have the exact same service offering, same team members and same assets under management? More importantly, do you expect and desire the firm to evolve over the next five years?

Commit to making a fresh start to 2016 by dusting off your old business plan, meaningfully revising it, and actually using it for its intended purpose – a roadmap for your business. If you never actually wrote a business plan for your practice, it’s not too late to start. And it can be a tremendous opportunity to actively engage your team members in helping to shape your future firm. 

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

Topics: Business and Operations Management, Business Development

Laying to Rest the Ghost that Haunts your Team

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Oct 30, 2015 4:34:36 PM

Many people mistakenly look at the world and think that what they see is reality. In fact, what they see is merely their perception of reality. Unfortunately, these perceptions often evolve into restrictive limiting beliefs, coloring our views about how the world works and preventing us from reaching our full potential.

Like a virus, these limiting beliefs can quickly spread throughout your team and become collective beliefs. In his book “What got you here won’t get you there,” Marshall Goldsmith makes a strong case that there are a handful of workplace habits (e.g., negativity, clinging to the past, failing to adapt or embrace change) that tend to keep successful people and teams from making the next big leap forward.

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

Topics: Business and Operations Management

Valuing Your Business Goes Far Beyond Revenue Multiples

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Oct 22, 2015 3:52:52 PM

There’s a big difference between buying a book of business and buying a business. Acquiring a business doesn’t just require an assumption of client relationships; it necessitates a transfer of trust – something that can’t be measured using factors and formulas.

The days of calculating an advisory firm's value by simply multiplying its annual revenues by some magical multiplier (usually 2.1x or 2.3x) are an anachronism. As M&A in the financial advisory space has evolved, both buyers and sellers have become much more savvy about a host of ancillary considerations that can dramatically impact a firm’s tangible value.

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

Topics: Business and Operations Management, Business Development, Selling

What’s Your Strategic Employee Onboarding Plan?

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Sep 22, 2015 2:52:00 PM

For the vast majority of financial advisors, building a business begins with anything but a strategic growth and onboarding plan. They start out as a jack-of-all-trades; perhaps with annual AUM goals and corresponding planned increases in head count, but allow the business to grow organically and haphazardly. As demand begins to consistently exceed capacity in a certain functional area, they bring on new people and skill sets (perhaps a new relationship management person, a portfolio manager, or an operations manager) to offload some of their responsibilities to.

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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, enterprise value

What We Know About “The Best” Financial Advisors

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jul 22, 2015 1:51:00 PM

 


Great success doesn’t just appear out of thin air. It’s difficult to achieve and takes patience, time, and focus. While many advisers in varying situations can experience success, there are several traits commonly held by the best of the best. We’ve had the honor to witness many of these traits first-hand, through our work with the top financial professionals in the industry today. Here’s what we’ve observed:graph

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

Topics: Business and Operations Management, Business Development, Learning

Executing with Strategy

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jun 26, 2015 2:43:23 PM

We’ve all heard that genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. Clearly, Thomas Edison knew that achieving genius goes well beyond just having an idea. Having the idea can feel like a breakthrough to the solution on it’s own, but it’s the actual execution that really makes the difference.

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

Topics: Coaching, Business and Operations Management, Goals, Time Management

Financial Advisors: Questions to Enhance Your Succession Planning

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jun 24, 2015 2:55:00 PM

Screen_Shot_2015-06-24_at_2.50.51_PM-2It takes very disciplined thinking to fully consider your succession planning strategy. Often, succession planning is confused with continuity planning. While continuity planning is an important piece of the puzzle if you plan to transition the leadership of your business, it does not consider the future of your business with the same thoroughness as succession planning.
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ClientWise is the premier financial advisor coach focused on business development and management best practices for financial advisors.

Topics: Business and Operations Management, Succession Planning, Outcomes-Based Planning

Part II: Start Planning While You're Still Growing

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jun 17, 2015 12:11:00 PM

Last week, we posted Part I of this blog, which talked about the best way to tackle succession planning by starting to plan while you’re still growing your business. To make this incredibly overwhelming thought a little more manageable, we broke it down by our ClientWise Professional Advisory Model™. Then, we broke it down further into three different periods of time. Using this multi-layered thinking will help you be more efficient in evaluating your business and preparing you for succession.

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

Topics: Business and Operations Management, Organizing Priorities, Marketing Approach, professional advocate, loyal client advocates

Part II: 5 MORE Business Plan Elements Every Financial Advisor Must Consider

Posted by Ray Sclafani on May 5, 2015 2:27:51 PM

Last week we provided you with 5 items to cover, or at least consider, in your business plan for your financial advisory practice. These elements provide more of a template for you to reconsider through the lens of your ideal vision for you business, the future of that business, and the people or team with whom you work. Much like The ClientWise Professional Advisory Model (PAM)™, it creates a roadmap for your practice. But the task of fleshing out the details that make it uniquely yours are the most crucial piece of this process.

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

Topics: Business and Operations Management, Business Development, Business planning,

How You May Be Unknowingly Contributing to Team Unhappiness and How to Fix it

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Mar 5, 2015 11:13:26 AM

What is the biggest threat to your team members’ happiness and engagement?  You might presume it’s their feelings regarding their compensation, or perhaps perceived lack of room for growth. In actuality, the biggest threat to their happiness is when they are hired for a job and not given the freedom to do it. Worse yet, is when a leader openly appears to have faith in his team members abilities, only to question it at a later point or micromanage it behind the scenes.

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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

Grow Your Wealth Management Team with Competency Based Interviewing

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jan 31, 2015 9:00:00 AM

One of the greatest challenges leaders experience is finding talented team members who truly complement their teams and work hard to achieve their goals. We encourage our financial advisor clients who are building teams to use competency-based interview questions, which require your potential team members to provide examples of specific circumstances in which they’ve demonstrated particular skills or aptitudes. These questions generally ask the person being interviewed to describe a problem or situation, explain the actions they took to handle the problem, and relate the results of their solution.  

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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

Great Questions for Successful Relationships

Posted by Ray Sclafani on Jan 23, 2015 1:00:00 PM


The most successful financial advisory teams are identified by well-defined goals, efficient processes, and strong vision and follow-through, but also by their team members’ ability to work together and have faith in each other to work with their clients.

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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

The Porcupine in the Room

Posted by Alix Purcell on Jan 12, 2015 10:00:00 AM


Have you ever experienced a “coaching momentwhere an emotionally charged issue came up for the person you were coaching?

In a recent Certified Financial Services Coach Training Program course, Lyn Allen, one of our Master Certified Coaches at ClientWise, provided an example of one such coaching moment. In this example, the financial advisor being coached compared her interactions with her assistant to dealing with a “porcupine”. The assistant was incredibly difficult to be around and made the coachee feel as though she couldn’t approach her for help with even the smallest task. It was clear that the coachee had some negatively charged emotions surrounding her assistant that would continue to come up for her at work and during her coaching sessions. 

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

Topics: Coaching, Business and Operations Management, Business Development

The Word of the Year: Culture

Posted by Alix Purcell on Dec 22, 2014 1:50:00 PM


“A nation, a workplace, an ethnicity, a passion, an outsized personality. The people who comprise these things, who fawn or rail against them, are behind Merriam-Webster's 2014 word of the year: culture.” The introduction to AP Mobile’s announcement that Merriam Webster has named ‘culture’ the word of the year got us thinking more about the role that culture plays in the financial advisory space. 

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

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