The Big Day: A “First Steps” Checklist for Advisors Transitioning to Firms

You've Made the Decision, Now What's Next?

You’ve made the big decision: You’re launching your own financial advisory firm or joining a firm.

Now what? How do you start to put that decision into action? TriState Capital Bank offers the following “first steps” checklist, based on what we’ve learned from our many independent financial advisor partners who have made the same transition you’re about to embark upon.

Initial Research
Transitioning requires a substantial amount of research. Among the critical areas you’ll want to thoroughly understand: broker protocol as it relates to client retention.

The handling of client information during an advisor transition requires significant understanding of your unique situation, including the presence (or not) of a broker protocol. In every case, seeking independent legal or consulting support is recommended to clarify what client information, if any, can be retained during this process.

When and How To Tell Your Clients
Advisors often initiate their move by resigning on a Friday or a holiday weekend. This potentially affords more time to contact your client base and inform them of your transition. That communication—many of our advisor partners opted to send a letter—is an opportunity to explain why you’ve chosen to go this route, how they can get in touch with you, and how committed you are to supporting their ongoing financial well-being. Be sure to highlight the benefits they’ll get from transitioning with you.

Remember: This can be a hectic time for the client, as the firm you’re leaving will also be contacting them immediately upon your resignation. To make the transition easier for your clients, one best practice we’ve seen among our independent advisor partners is to send clients a pre-drafted letter they can send to your former firm, notifying them that they’ll be transitioning along with you. Reducing your clients’ administrative burden is always a smart move.

As always, be sure to update your social media profiles immediately, using those forums to tell your network and prospects about your new venture.

Organization Is Key
Once your transition is complete, you’ll want to institute a robust tracking system so that each time you contact a client or prospect, you’ll have a clear and consistent way to record those conversations. Keeping client communications standardized and in one central location will make it easy to access and update records.

Securing Lending Solutions for Your Clients
When a client decides to transition, it may necessitate the refinancing of any outstanding loans to your new banking partner. Partnering with a bank that offers securities-based lines of credit (SBLOCs) will allow you to seamlessly help your clients close out their loans with your former firm and reopen them through an independent third party.

TriState Capital Bank: Here to Help
There’s no doubt that transitions can be stressful. But they can also be exciting and create opportunities for personal and professional growth. As an advisor-centric bank, TriState Capital Bank serves as a trusted partner for thousands of wealth managers and financial advisors as they transition to joining or launching independent firms. We are a leading provider of securities-based lines of credit (SBLOCs) and can help meet refinancing requirements as you transition your clients between firms. If you’re interested in learning more about how TriState Capital can help you make a smooth and successful transition, we’re ready to help. Let’s start the conversation today.

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