Are you considering bringing on a junior advisor or partnering with other advisors?
It’s a hot topic these days. I have been contacted at least 4 times in the last month by advisors wanting to learn more about how we have structured our practice.
I don’t think that there is a RIGHT way to do this, but there might be some WRONG ways to go about it.
Some wrong ways include:
Hiring someone for a pittance, pumping their network for leads.
Promising a buy-out opportunity “someday” without any details.
Taking a huge override that is not sustainable in the long-run.
My golden rule of partnering is that I don’t want to ask an advisor to do something that I would not feel is fair if I were in their shoes.
I don’t know about you, but I grew up in a firm that did not treat their advisors with common decency.
They did things like:
Offloading all of the risk onto the advisor and claiming they “owned” the clients.
Requiring advisors to pay office bills without transparency on the expenses.
Calling clients with false stories after advisors left to try to keep the client.
My personal experience with that kind of culture has colored the way I now look at partnering. I want to own what I own and I want the advisors in my firm to do the same. I want to work together synergistically, but be independent at the same time. I want full transparency on every expense.
Here is how we have structured our company into what I like to call SYNERGISTIC SILOS.
Our firm is made up of three advisors and three staff members. The advisors pay a small flat override to the firm and are liable for all other expenses. We each own our own books, but benefit from working as team. If an advisors chooses to leave, she would be able to make the transition with no hassle.
Here are some of the highlights of our SYNERGISTIC SILOS approach.
We are all independent, but not alone. We have a pool of individual strengths to draw from, but we don’t give up ultimate control of our businesses.
This approach isn’t right for everyone, but for me, for us, it gives us the scale of a larger firm while allowing us each to express our own entrepreneurial spirit.
No matter how you choose to partner, make sure you follow the golden rule; don’t ask another advisor to do something that you wouldn’t feel is fair if you were in their shoes!
Have you partnered? Are you thinking of partnering? What structure do you think will serve you and your partners best?
I would love it if you would join us in the TIA Mastermind Group on Facebook and share your perspective.