Whether immediate or planned, there comes a time when business owners need to think about practice succession.
More and more financial professionals are running their practice like businesses. They’re testing new marketing plans, embracing new technologies, and designing and implementing strategies to grow and evolve.
For some, this is a new dynamic in an aging industry. And unlike previous generations, acquisitions will be a key part of any growth strategy moving forward. On our most recent episode of the The Big Picture Advisor, John DiMonda, head of Lincoln Financial Advisors, joins financial professionals James Martin, CFP®, CRPC, MBA and R. Logan Waters, CBEC®, to share their recent succession stories and lessons-learned about overcoming the emotional hurdles as well as accomplishments that practice succession brings. Here are their three tips:
Find the right cultural fit
Arguably one of the top concerns is finding the right successor. Most financial professionals love what they do, and it’s not just what they do, it’s a part of who they are. So when the time comes to either enter or exit the business, it often comes with a handful of emotional challenges. After years of nurturing and building relationships with clients, they become family. Identifying someone who shares similar values and puts the same emphasis on relationships is key to finding the right successor. “Whether it’s a selling advisor or a buying advisor, when they have the option to really thoughtfully think through how that trust is going to be handed off over time, that’s what is so critical. If you don’t get that right, nothing else matters,” according to Waters. Without the right cultural fit, clients could move on and leave your legacy behind.
Without question, sharing the same passion and excitement with another family member is something to be proud of. When it comes to family succession, it’s common to immediately assume that the transition from one family member to another will be easy. Waters shares that establishing some ground rules early on can be really helpful. There are a lot of emotions involved; willingness to help, power struggles, conversations about money, and at times the inability to relinquish control. The family relationship is the most important, he explains. Contemplating these inevitable changes will help you better navigate them.
Ask for help
Financial professionals must do for themselves what they do for their clients – plan. What is your plan to take your practice to the next level? What is your plan to protect all that you have built? And how do you plan to find the right partner or successor? The answers to these questions can be challenging. For those who are registered representatives, often your broker-dealer will help you navigate this tremendous milestone in your career journey. If not, contact us to learn more about our succession program and the steps we’re taking to help navigate the professional and personal barriers you’re facing.
For the complete episode and more tips, listen below.
About James Martin, CFP®, CRPC, MBA
Jim Martin is the founder of D4D Strategic Consulting Group, and a private wealth advisor with Sagemark Consulting Private services. His practice specializes in wealth distribution and risk management strategies. He is the current chairperson of The Resource Group- an invitation-only nationwide network of the top 200 planners within Lincoln Financial Advisors.
He has been recognized and received numerous awards for his personal production, coaching and leadership results. He is a sought-after speaker for both industry and public groups and has appeared on NBC and ABC discussing a variety of financial topics.
About R. Logan Waters, CBEC®
Logan Waters is an investment advisor who helps high net worth families and closely held businesses owners realize financial planning opportunities and works in concert with clients and their advisors to create coordinated and customized financial plans.
Logan is a second-generation financial planner, who recently went through a practice succession with his father.
Episode 7 – From the desk of: Jim Martin, founder of D4D Strategic Consulting Group, and Logan Waters, principal of Waters Wealth Consultants
Planning for a successful succession
Jim and Logan share their recent succession stories and lessons learned in the process.