TRANSITION TALK

Continuity Now : Don't Leave Your Business Unprotected

Posted by Lisa Cordial and Mike McKennon on Mar 26, 2020 12:27:00 PM

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Ongoing developments with COVID-19 have prompted a number of advisors to contact us and make sure their death and disability continuity plans are up to date. It’s worth noting that only about 30% of advisors have any type of formal, written death and disability agreement in place. That leaves 70% with little to no protection for their business and clients.

What is Continuity Planning?

Business Continuity Planning is required by most regulatory organizations in the financial services industry. The common objective is preserving client service and asset management continuity in the event of natural disaster, national emergency, or exit of the licensed principal. Death or disability agreements provide a contingency plan that ensures a seamless transfer of control and responsibility for the business in the event of an owner’s unplanned and abrupt departure.

In the wake of COVID-19, we’ve seen many of these operational contingencies enacted by advisory firms nationwide, and that the preparation for a sudden exit is equally as crucial. Highly transmittable and difficult to predict respiratory viruses aside, you never know when an unexpected event will prevent you from performing your role as owner and advisor.

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Topics: Commentary, Business Growth, Industry News, Continuity Partner Matching, Continuity

Communicating Context to Balance Uncertainty

Posted by Brad Bueermann on Mar 24, 2020 1:44:34 PM

Communicating Context to Balance Uncertainty

The last few weeks have been eerie. The markets are fluctuating, schools are closed, streets are deserted. The Portland area had a run of 65-degree sunny days followed by two days of snow. Our office is down to a skeleton crew, and the rest of the staff are working from home.

At the beginning of March staying away from the coronavirus seemed as simple as keeping anyone sick at home. Now the ambiguity of who might be carrying the virus has sparked fear of the unknown and driving us to make drastic, unprecedented changes in our lifestyles to protect those at highest risk for severe infection. The situation and preventative measures seem to change daily and vary state to state.

But, this, too, shall pass, and we are all trying to stay productive and maintain perspective on the current situation. Twelve years ago, we experienced a similar market shock. Though the circumstances and drivers are different now, the way the industry adapts and manages investor uncertainty to find our way to the other side of this, as innovators and entrepreneurs, we will have to think similarly.

Be a Resource

The biggest piece of advice I can give to advisors who expect to make it through is this: be a resource.

Be a resource for your clients and their communities. They’re all searching for guidance right now. Even if you can’t give them concrete answers, you can give them context. Nobody can predict exactly what is going to happen in the next few months, but you can support your community by sharing your knowledge of the financial system.  

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Topics: Commentary, Business Growth, Industry News, Client Relationships

A Focus on Reputation and Client Trust for Acquisition Success

Posted by Jessica Villagrana on Sep 27, 2017 1:16:22 PM

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Whole Foods has been a bastion of the organic movement since its founding in 1980. Urbanites flocked to pay top dollar for picture-perfect produce, wines curated by professional wine stewards, and abundant organic, non-GMO options to suit any number of nutritional requirements. However, competition eventually flooded the market. Enter Amazon. The online retail giant acquired Whole Foods in a $13.7B deal that left consumers eager to see price reductions, but concerned that the brand that they have come to trust would suffer for the sake of supply chain efficiency.

As a brand, Whole Foods became synonymous with healthy living, quality, and friendly customer service. How the acquisition will impact brand reputation and consumer trust is yet to be seen. Indeed, this is a concern of every entity when considering a merger or acquisition.  In the financial services arena, a strong reputation and client trust is hard won over many years of dedication and commitment to a fine-tuned value proposition.  Large or small, the success of a merger or acquisition depends on protecting the relationship capital of the business.

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Topics: Acquisition, Commentary, Buying & Selling, Client Retention

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