Archive for December, 2012

Webster Bank’s Plan To Expand Wealth Business

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Webster Bank is pushing hard to expand its wealth management business.

It rebranded the business Webster Private Bank, hired additional advice professionals as private bankers, and recruited an executive from BNY Mellon Wealth Management to lead the group of 50 wealth advisors and support staff.

My number one objective is to grow revenues from the private bank and help to make it an even greater contributor to the growth of Webster Bank, Daniel FitzPatrick, the new head of the business, said in a telephone interview.

Wealth and investment services generated $7.2 million in revenue for Webster Bank in the third quarter, up 11% from the same period a year earlier, according to the banks last earnings release. Through the end of September, wealth services brought in $21.7 million, or 15% of its non-interest income.

To increase the private banks contribution to Websters bottom line, FitzPatrick has turned his attention to staffing up his team. His first order of business is to hire three senior-level executives to fill new posts.

Were looking to invest significantly in our investment management and fiduciary capability, so were looking to add senior resources there, he said. Specifically, he plans to hire a chief investment strategist to lead the banks build-out of the investment management capability, an executive to head up Fiduciary Services, and a leader for the banks lending team.

With a modest $2 billion in assets under management, the private bank has plenty of room to grow. Webster can easily double its assets under management in a couple of years if it builds out the program in the right way, according to Rick Rummage, a career consulting group specializing in the financial industry.

Like many banks across the nation, Webster is ramping up its wealth management and private banking services to make up for declining revenue from traditional bank lending. As all financial firms are facing a challenging next few years in their interest-bearing businesses, its important that we grow all sources of revenue, including investment management and trust, FitzPatrick said.

Websters renewed focus on private banking also has to do with the demographics of the markets it serves in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. The regional bank operates in states that have a strong concentration of individuals the bank describes as the millionaire next door a reference to the book, The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of Americas Wealthy, published in 1996. The book profiles men and women who make up modern-day millionaires.

As these individualsoften doctors, lawyers and entrepreneursincrease their wealth, private banking becomes an area of growing need, FitzPatrick noted. As they have become successful and as they have more wealth and as their needs become more complicated, theres a terrific opportunity for us to then become even more relevant to them, he said.

The bank whose goal is to be New Englands local private bank is aiming its wealth advisory services at individuals and businesses with $1 million or more in investable assets with its sweet spot in the range of $1 million to $25 million in assets. Individuals and businesses in this wealth band, unlike those in higher tiers, still value having a relationship with their bank advisors, which is one of the key features of Websters brand, according to FitzPatrick.

Once clients reach the highest echelons of wealth$100 million or more in assetstheyre no longer looking for a relationship, but rather a part supplier, FitzPatrick said.

Thats not to say that Webster does not have uber-wealthy clients outside its sweet spot range. It has a lot of them, FitzPatrick said, but it is focusing its attention on the more prevalent seriously wealthy individuals who are everywhere throughout the banks four-state footprint, many of whom could be overlooked by other players, FitzPatrick said.

Im not going to spend all that time and effort trying to shoot elephants when there are lots and lots of seriously wealthy people in all our communities and neighborhoods who would like a friendly local private banker, said FitzPatrick.

Webster is betting that Greenwich, Conn., home to many hedge fundsis a location that will benefit from its private banking services. In January, it will open a new private bank office there, bringing the total number of private bank offices to eight. Webster Bank operates a total of 167 branches.

With $20 billion in assets, the bank is the perfect size to foster the personal relationships on which it has built its brand, according to FitzPatrick. We are big enough to be relevant in all these various disciplines and not so big that our clients get lost, FitzPatrick said.

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Friday, December 28th, 2012 EN No Comments

CALAMOS ASSET MANAGEMENT, INC : Calamos Announces Compliant Retail … – 4

12/28/2012| 08:04am US/Eastern

Naperville, IL; London, UK; 28 December 2012 – Calamos Global Funds plc and Calamos Advisors LLC announce that as of 31 December 2012 they will be compliant with the rules of the U.K. Financial Services Authority (FSA) relating to its Retail Distribution Review (RDR). The RDR rules impose certain restrictions on the payment of commission, remuneration and other benefits in relation to a personal recommendation provided to a retail client in the U.K. to invest in Calamos Global Funds (UCITS).

Consequently, effective as of 31 December 2012, retail clients in the U.K. may invest in the existing institutional (Class I) shares of Calamos Global Funds. There is no minimum subscription amount for platform investments or otherwise from FSA-authorised financial intermediaries that intend to utilise Class I for purposes of compliance with the FSA’s RDR rules. All other charges with respect to Class I will remain the same.

“Calamos is committed to the U.K. marketplace and providing investment solutions to meet asset allocation needs. We look forward to continuing to work with advisors, platforms and the clients they serve,” said John Calamos, Sr., Chief Executive Officer and Global Co-Chief Investment Officer of Calamos Investments®.*

Calamos Investments offers a family of UCITS funds, available to institutional and retail investors outside the United States. Funds available include U.S. Growth, Global Equity, Emerging Markets, Global Convertible Opportunities and Global High Income. Each of these funds is based on a long record of managing similar institutional strategies and funds for clients in the United States and around the globe.

For more information, please visit Calamos.com/global.

About Calamos

Calamos Investments is a diversified global investment firm offering innovative investment strategies including equity, fixed income, convertible and alternative investments, among others. The firm offers strategies through separately managed portfolios, mutual funds, closed-end funds, private funds and UCITS funds. Clients include major corporations, pension funds, endowments, foundations and individuals. Headquartered in the Chicago metropolitan area, the firm also has offices in London and New York.

Calamos Investments serves professional/sophisticated investors around the world through Calamos Global Funds plc (UCITS), distributed by Calamos Investments LLP, London, United Kingdom.

For more information, please visit Calamos.com.

The information contained in this press release does not constitute an offer or solicitation to invest and may not be treated as an offer or solicitation in any jurisdiction where such an offer or solicitation is against the law.

Calamos Investments LLP is authorised by the Financial Services Authority and is the distributor of Calamos Global Funds plc. The company’s registered office is Suite G.07, 1 Cornhill, London EC3V 3ND. Registered in England (reg. no. 514598).

*Calamos Investments LLC, referred to herein as Calamos Investments®, is a financial services company offering such services through its subsidiaries: Calamos Advisors LLC, Calamos Wealth Management LLC, Calamos Investments LLP and Calamos Financial Services LLC.

Jennifer McGuffin, Director, Corporate Communications, Calamos Advisors LLC, +1-630-245-1780, fax, +1-630-245-6840, media@calamos.com


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Friday, December 28th, 2012 EN No Comments

Study finds North Americans prefer to give to local causes

High-wealth individuals in North America are more likely to give to charitable causes where they live, according to a recently released Wealth Through the Prism of Culture and Mobility study by RBC Wealth Management and The Economist Intelligence Unit.

“Our experience working with high net worth clients around the world shows that their success is often strongly influenced by a global perspective about building, protecting and ultimately transferring wealth to future generations,” said George Lewis, group head of RBC Wealth Management and Insurance.

Three-quarters of North American residents said they prefer to give money to local causes. This was countered by residents in the Asia-Pacific region, who were more apt to give back to charities in their birth countries, the study found. Giving was also found to be culturally driven, with 29 percent of North American millionaires planning to leave a significant portion of their assets to charities, while giving their families enough to live comfortably. However, 11 percent of internationally mobile wealthy individuals planned to do the same.

Individuals, foundations and organizations that provide funding to various causes might benefit from nonprofit accounting software, which can help board members audit funds and make sure the correct amounts are being distributed to various programs each year. 

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Thursday, December 27th, 2012 EN No Comments

Webster Bank Armed to Expand Wealth Business

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Webster Bank is pushing hard to expand its wealth management business.It rebranded the business Webster Private Bank, hired additional advice professionals as private bankers, and recruited an executive from BNY Mellon Wealth Management to lead the group of 50 wealth advisors and support staff.

My number one objective is to grow revenues from the private bank and help to make it an even greater contributor to the growth of Webster Bank, Daniel FitzPatrick, the new head of the business, said in a telephone interview.

Wealth and investment services generated $7.2 million in revenue for Webster Bank in the third quarter, up 11% from the same period a year earlier, according to the banks last earnings release. Through the end of September, wealth services brought in $21.7 million, or 15% of its non-interest income.

To increase the private banks contribution to Websters bottom line, FitzPatrick has turned his attention to staffing up his team. His first order of business is to hire three senior-level executives to fill new posts.

Were looking to invest significantly in our investment management and fiduciary capability, so were looking to add senior resources there, he said. Specifically, he plans to hire a chief investment strategist to lead the banks build-out of the investment management capability, an executive to head up Fiduciary Services, and a leader for the banks lending team.

With a modest $2 billion in assets under management, the private bank has plenty of room to grow. Webster can easily double its assets under management in a couple of years if it builds out the program in the right way, according to Rick Rummage, a career consulting group specializing in the financial industry.

Like many banks across the nation, Webster is ramping up its wealth management and private banking services to make up for declining revenue from traditional bank lending. As all financial firms are facing a challenging next few years in their interest-bearing businesses, its important that we grow all sources of revenue, including investment management and trust, FitzPatrick said.

Websters renewed focus on private banking also has to do with the demographics of the markets it serves in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. The regional bank operates in states that have a strong concentration of individuals the bank describes as the millionaire next door a reference to the book, The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of Americas Wealthy, published in 1996. The book profiles men and women who make up modern-day millionaires.

As these individualsoften doctors, lawyers and entrepreneursincrease their wealth, private banking becomes an area of growing need, FitzPatrick noted. As they have become successful and as they have more wealth and as their needs become more complicated, theres a terrific opportunity for us to then become even more relevant to them, he said.

The bank whose goal is to be New Englands local private bank is aiming its wealth advisory services at individuals and businesses with $1 million or more in investable assets with its sweet spot in the range of $1 million to $25 million in assets. Individuals and businesses in this wealth band, unlike those in higher tiers, still value having a relationship with their bank advisors, which is one of the key features of Websters brand, according to FitzPatrick.

Once clients reach the highest echelons of wealth$100 million or more in assetstheyre no longer looking for a relationship, but rather a part supplier, FitzPatrick said.

Thats not to say that Webster does not have uber-wealthy clients outside its sweet spot range. It has a lot of them, FitzPatrick said, but it is focusing its attention on the more prevalent seriously wealthy individuals who are everywhere throughout the banks four-state footprint, many of whom could be overlooked by other players, FitzPatrick said.

Im not going to spend all that time and effort trying to shoot elephants when there are lots and lots of seriously wealthy people in all our communities and neighborhoods who would like a friendly local private banker, said FitzPatrick.

Webster is betting that Greenwich, Conn., home to many hedge fundsis a location that will benefit from its private banking services. In January, it will open a new private bank office there, bringing the total number of private bank offices to eight. Webster Bank operates a total of 167 branches.

With $20 billion in assets, the bank is the perfect size to foster the personal relationships on which it has built its brand, according to FitzPatrick. We are big enough to be relevant in all these various disciplines and not so big that our clients get lost, FitzPatrick said.

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Thursday, December 27th, 2012 EN No Comments

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management launches LGBT initiative

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management launches LGBT initiative

Morgan Stanley has announced the launch of an LGBT initiative to provide its financial advisors with wealth planning tools, business development and marketing resources designed specifically for LGBT prospects and clients.

The new client educational resource – LGBT On Your Terms – is available to help same-sex couples understand the factors that are likely to affect their family’s finances and long-term plans.

“In today’s ever-changing financial and legal environment, it is important for LGBT couples to work with a wealth management organization that specializes in LGBT wealth planning issues,” said Douglas J. Ketterer, Head of Morgan Stanley’s U.S. Field Management.

“Same-sex marriage is legal in Iowa, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Washington and the District of Columbia, and voter-approved freedom to marry laws in Maine and Maryland are being implemented. The other remaining states have either a variety of civil union laws or no legal standing at all for same sex couples.

“This has created a host of financial planning complications for the LGBT community, including what to do when buying a home, making a will, designating beneficiaries, transferring assets and making sure partners have hospital visitation rights, and we are equipping our financial advisors with the tools they need to advise on these and other issues,” Ketterer said.

The Firm’s Diversity Council, a 19-member group of Financial Advisors and branch managers who meet periodically to advise management on diversity issues, contributed to the development of the initiative.

To visit LGBTQ Nation, a content partner with SDGLN, click HERE.

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Thursday, December 27th, 2012 EN No Comments

New Year’s Resolutions: Jim Casey, President & CEO of Integrated Wealth … – Virtual

Palm Springs, California, Dec. 26, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As the New Year begins many couples across the country will
resolve to become more proactive about financial planning in the
coming year. For those who are gay, this already difficult task is
made more so by complicated state and federal tax regulations. To
address the issue, Jim Casey, President and CEO of Integrated
Wealth Management, has created a special presentation called “The
High Cost of Being Gay” to assist same-sex couples navigate these
complex issues.

“Tradition tells us that we enter into committed relationships
for better or for worse, and for richer or for poorer. For many gay
couples in America, the reality is ‘worse’ and ‘for poorer’ these
days,” says Casey. “Even if the state you live in recognizes your
marriage, the IRS and Federal Government do not. From estate taxes
and health insurance, to retirement accounts and the pricey
preparation of vital legal documents, most gays and lesbians do not
realize the hard costs and the efforts needed to protect
themselves.”

Throughout the presentation, Casey reviews the importance of
estate planning, tax planning, and financial planning for same sex
couples and the steps they can take to begin the process.
 However, he not only discusses the financial side, but he
also explores the very emotional aspect of this important
topic.  “Love is not always enough. No matter the strength of
your partnership, unmarried partners don’t enjoy the protection or
legal benefits afforded to married couples.  To put it
bluntly, in the eyes of the federal government, you’re strangers.”
Casey states.  “It is so important to begin this conversation
with your partner.”

For example, if you have a joint bank account with your partner
and he/she makes $200,000 a year and you make $50,000 a year, the
$150,000 could be considered a ‘gift’ to you and could therefore be
taxable by law. Furthermore, even tax preparation can cost more,
since gay couples are required to file two sets of returns.

If you and your partner each own a home, you may only get one
tax deduction per couple, even though the interest write-off per
person is acceptable and legal. The IRS is currently fighting cases
like this where same-sex couples who live together are
concerned.

Heterosexual married couples can contribute $5,000 annually to a
spousal IRA for a non-working spouse. However, non-working gay
partners cannot receive these contributions from their working
spouse.

In terms of estate taxes, same sex couples must pay federal
estate taxes on amounts that exceed the 2011 exemption of $5
million dollars, because federal law supersedes state law. In that
same vein, heterosexual married couples can transfer an unlimited
amount of assets to each other during their lives and at death
without paying estate taxes.

The situation is indeed complicated, but there are answers, says
Casey, a recognized expert in the world of finance, as well as a
Federal Club Member of the Human Rights Campaign and staunch
advocate for gay and lesbian rights. For more information about Jim
Casey and his presentation, “The High Cost of Being Gay” please
visit www.IWMgmt.com or call 866-888-6563 ext. 113.

###

About Integrated Wealth Management:

Integrated Wealth Management is an independent wealth management
firm representing hundreds of individuals, businesses, and
nonprofits. Integrated Wealth Management focuses on helping its
clients attain their current and future financial goals by
providing an exceptional level of personalized service and
financial advice, and adapting quickly to changing client
circumstances, market conditions or tax laws. 

The full-service firm provides:  Wealth Management
Services, Fiduciary Services, 401(k) Design and Management,
Investment Reporting Services, Financial and Retirement Planning
and more. For more information, visit www.IWMgmt.com or call
866-888-6563 ext. 113.

CONTACT: For more information, visit www.IWMgmt.com or call 866-888-6563 ext. 113.

IWM

(C) Copyright 2012 GlobeNewswire, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Wednesday, December 26th, 2012 EN No Comments

Challenges for wealth managers in Asia-Pac

THE behavioural trends of the wealthy and intensifying competition in the Asia-Pacific region are creating challenges for regional wealth management institutions trying to maintain their foothold in the market. Given its commitment to lead Asian wealth management, Singapore will be at the centre of this struggle.

As with many things, the onset of the financial crisis in 2008 serves as the line of demarcation between the old ways and the new. According to a recent report by Accenture Wealth and Asset Management Services, before the crisis, Asia’s high net worth individuals (HNW) primarily hedged their investments by spreading them across as many as seven or eight banks.

Today, this number has been cut in half, as investors consolidate their assets primarily among three or four institutions. As they consider where to allocate future investments, these HNW individuals are raising the bar much higher than in the past. They are far more demanding, seeking more differentiated, bespoke products and innovative distribution channels. Above all, they are demanding more sophisticated and higher-quality advice from their wealth managers.

In 2011, Asia’s HNW population climbed to 3.37 million, overtaking both Europe and North America, and firmly establishing the region as the leading wealth marketplace.

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Wednesday, December 26th, 2012 EN No Comments

Losing investors `misled’ by CCB

Seven investors in a wealth management product sold by China Construction Bank (0939) complained to regulators after suffering losses, the National Business Daily reported yesterday.

The seven, from Jilin province, filed a complaint with the China Banking Regulatory Commission and the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the report said, citing one of the petitioners.

The investors said they were misled by CCB staff into buying a fund known as “Northeast Securities No 3” – which required a minimum investment of 100,000 yuan (HK$124,178).

Such products, which typically offer higher yields, make up about 10 percent of banking system deposits, Barclays wrote in a recent research note.

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The bank’s investor services staff declined to comment. A person at Northeast Securities – the product manager – declined to provide the contact information of anyone who could comment.

“The quality and transparency of the wealth management products, China’s biggest shadow banking field, is worrisome,” Bank of China (3988) chairman Xiao Gang wrote in an opinion article for China Daily in October.

There are also concerns over trust products, another form of shadow banking that has grown quickly in recent years.

Commercial banks are expected to hold 800 billion yuan worth of beneficial right of trust products by the end of this year, the Securities Times reported yesterday.

Industrial Bank, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and Agricultural Bank of China (1288) were mentioned as among those who have their investment income boosted due to the holding of such trusts in the first half.

Bank-trust cooperation is the most popular shadow banking form that allows all parties involved – including commercial banks, trust firms and enterprises – to evade the regulator.

“Due to its growing amount, China’s securities regulators have started to monitor the situation,” the report said.

GRACE CAO AND BLOOMBERG

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Wednesday, December 26th, 2012 EN No Comments

Playing The Digital Dating Game

If a client and advisor relationship is like a marriage, ‘onboarding’ is the dating stage—the time before signing on for good, and when a wealth advisor wants to make the best impression he can. It is a delicate time when a prospect and an advisor are testing out their relationship, seeing if the two can work with each other over the long term, and determining if the advisor can understand and meet the financial needs of the pursued prospect. For the advisor, the benefit is more than just landing a new client; it’s achieving a reputation as a smooth operator, one that will quickly lead to more prospects. The faster it’s done, the more opportunities there are.

“When we have surveyed high net-worth clients, we have found that an excellent client interaction can double the number of referrals for that advisor,” says Peter Delano, senior research director with business advisory firm CEB Tower Group, whose main area of focus is the back office area of wealth management. “It’s not just something that has importance in terms of closing the deal, or turning a prospect into a client. But it has bigger ramifications to drive other clients—for that initial new client to recommend you.”

So how does an advisor speed up the cycle from initial introduction to blissful partnership? Digital onboarding—or using online tools to turn prospects into clients—is one idea taking hold everywhere from the smallest single person shop up to multi-national firms. The idea? How to woo prospects quickly with digital dazzle, showing off your cyber smarts with attractive data presentations and showing sensitivity to a prospect’s time and space with the smooth use e-mail and web conferencing. A happy partnership will multiply: No client gives referrals for advisors they aren’t pleased with. So the faster an advisor can sweep a prospect off her feet, the quicker more will follow.

Research firm Celent says greater revenue and higher customer retention is two of the top nine benefits of automating the process of signing clients, according to its October 2012 report “Institutional Client On-Boarding in the Financial Industry.” Smaller firms too can benefit.

“Small firms undertaking wealth management for a small group of clients would need much simpler digital onboarding,” says Anshuman Jaswal, a senior analyst with Celent’s Securities Investments group. “But there is a need for digitalization across the board.”

Making a Good First Impression

As a rep and shareholder with Legend Financial Advisors, Jim Holtzman encourages prospects to use digital files and online storage sites whenever possible to send him information. To him it’s a better route than regular mail where documents can be lost in transit.

While digital tools haven’t necessarily sped up the time it takes for an investor to sign with him as an advisor, he believes they create a positive perception to potential clients — that he’s current with the technology, able to respond quicker and on top of their concerns right from the start. And that, he says, helps build their relationship further down the road.

For example, he uses AdvisorVault, an online platform, where he exchanges information and data with prospects quickly. He’s even had accountants upload tax information from prospects to help set up their accounts securely.

“I want to make their experience efficient and comfortable, and that’s an important part of why I do it,” says the Pittsburgh-based rep. “It builds a pipeline for getting referrals from that client down the road.”

Delano says that capturing new client data digitally decreases errors when opening accounts and gets assets invested quicker. And while online does not completely supplant in-person contact, uploading forms over the web or through email reduces the time otherwise spent tracking down missing pieces of information or papers in their dead tree form. With CEB Tower Group finding the potential for data errors pushing the rework rate—or having to re-enter data or fix a mistake—to 70 percent, ways to reduce those speed bumps can be crucial. Errors do more than stretch the time it takes to open an account; they can also affect the feeling a new client has for their rep.

“The first time an end user [has] a service-related experience, a rework, that’s inefficient and embarrassing,” says Adam Moseley, managing director of technology consulting at Schwab Advisor Services. “Any steps missed, any rework is a reflection of the advisor and they’re looking to avoid that. They’re looking to have an excellent client relationship and set the tone going forward.”

To that end, Schwab is launching an esignature option for 2013—capturing a client’s wet signature, one done on paper, and integrating that electronically into a majority of the digital documents that Schwab supports on the advisor end. While esignature technology has been around for years, financial services firms have been slow to adopt the tool because of concern that a digital signature may not hold up with regulators as well as one that’s hand-signed. But the firm believes it can put those concerns to rest now, and use the digital tool to open accounts faster.

“We envision an end-to-end where paper never touches an advisor’s desk, or the client never touches it,” says Moseley. “It’s about having the right process and the right technology.”

Digital onboarding can bring about more than just a quick and paperless experience — it also allows advisors to get to work with clients’ portfolios sooner, such as suggesting additional investments to put into their portfolio. Celent found that the possibility of cross-selling is higher than 10 percent in a client’s first month, tapering to about 2 percent within six months, according to its report.

“If onboarding is quicker you can get into advising more quickly,” says Celent’s Jaswal. “And the moment you digitize, the information is retained by the advisor for when they want to invest in a new product. The entire process is much quicker.”

Third Party Hiccups

To be sure, digital onboarding can sometimes muddle a burgeoning relationship. Having data sent directly from an advisor to a client during the prospect stage is fairly controllable. But what about data being sent to a prospect about a firm from an outside company? Those mistakes can be damaging—and hard to fix.

Take Roger Pine, a financial advisor and partner with Briaud Financial Advisors who recently had a prospect on his way to the firm—but got lost because Google said the company had closed. As the client looked for directions in the car from his smartphone, the app wouldn’t turn up the College Station, Texas-based offices because it said the firm had been shut down and therefore didn’t exist.

“Here’s a web site not even our own, which impacted the client perspective,” says Pine. “That was a lesson for us. He didn’t end up becoming a client, which I think was for some other reason. But that wasn’t a good way to start a meeting.”

Pine and his firm now check about 10 outside web sites, including Google Places and NAPFA’s web site, every two to three months to review data on their firm, while also testing the contact link on their own site weekly to ensure requests get through as well. Yet, he’s still a fan of digital tools.

For example, Briaud offers to turn a prospect’s paper records into digital files, which helps the potential client and the advisor should they later sign as a client. Pine gets that the new generation of investors really want a self-service model and the ability to send requests or ask questions through online channels at their convenience.

“I think for younger people coming in for multiple meetings, finding a babysitter or taking off from work, they’re going to want more self-service options,” he says. “They’re probably going to want to upload data themselves, and even get an initial set of recommendations electronically.”

Face Time

Yet most reps today still say they want their clients to feel comfortable calling them, even as they begin to weave more digital tools into their discussions with prospects. Legend’s Holtzman is starting to explore some software programs that digitize and secure the paper questionnaires he asks prospects to complete. He says the time he could save with data stored online would be “huge,” particularly when it comes time for portfolio meetings later. Yet he believes that whenever possible, a meeting in the same room, at the same time, is still the way to go.

“Even for me, it’s important that late at night, or after the kids go to bed, I can take care of some service by e-mail or on the company’s web site,” he says. “That’s absolutely critical. But I’m also old-fashioned in some respects and I like face-to-face. I’m comfortable enough to do web casts or Skype. But I default to a face-to-face meeting. I think it sends a good message.”

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Tuesday, December 25th, 2012 EN No Comments

Getting Out of the Veteran Slump

“I’ve got a son in college, but there’s no way I’d ever want him to get into this business,” said Harold, a veteran advisor, before asking, “What do you foresee as the future for financial advisors?”

There was no way I was going to change Harold’s viewpoint in our brief conversation, but I did take the liberty of referencing a recent CNNMoney poll that rated “financial advisor” as the sixth top ranked career choice for people seeking employment. I added that the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2012-2013 Occupational Outlook Handbook projected that employment of personal financial advisors is projected to grow 32 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. The reason cited is baby boomers: They’re approaching retirement age and seeking advice from personal financial advisors. 

Unfortunately Harold’s sentiments are echoed by many tenured advisors. Harold, a veteran of 30 years with over $200 million in assets, was once, to use his own words, “a goal-focused animal.”  Now he’s just trying to hang around long enough to recover what he can from his retirement plan (overloaded with his firm’s stock) that was crushed. 

Stuck in the Past

Somehow the Harolds of the financial advisor corps aren’t looking with much clarity into the future. In many ways, they’re lost in nostalgia—the way it was, and they unwittingly find themselves looking into the future with one eye towards the rearview mirror.

Let’s make an effort to change that lens, look forward, and get into that old “glass half-full” mindset. With this mindset, whenever a veteran advisor listens to a credible source touting the financial advisor career, instead of scaring off the next generation of advisors, he or she can serve as a goal-focused role model, a mentor. Obviously, in order to make this a reality, an advisor must be able to recognize the opportunities of today, be at work realigning his or her practice, and be goal-focused.

Granted, it was much easier for advisors in the old world to be goal-focused; they were one-dimensional. It seemed as though everyone wanted to be a $1 million producer and meet production targets, as titles and recognition trips were all very motivating and became the norm. Back in the day, virtually every advisor who made it through rookie school did so as a result of their disciplined effort. 

Setting 2013 Goals

I’m of the opinion that every veteran advisor with a solid clientele and a corresponding base of assets should be goal-focused, and part of these goals should involve succession planning. A core component of this succession planning is being relevant to today’s affluent clientele, which is why every advisor should be engaged in building out a real 21st century financial practice. 

This doesn’t mean that Harold should try to convince his son to join his business. What I’m stressing is for every veteran advisor who is in control of serious assets, it’s time to be self-aware and determine what changes are necessary to best meet the needs and expectations of your affluent clients. This drill usually involves expanding wealth management solutions delivered, connecting with outside experts, improving the personal service clients are receiving, and getting into an affluent client acquisition mode. This is a lot more involved than just hanging on, but it’s far more rewarding.

In order to break this down into simple bite-sized parts, let’s think of 2013 goals in terms of…

·      New assets from existing clients;

·      New assets from new clients;

·      The number of new affluent clients acquired that meet a specific profile ($1 million, $2 million, etc.);

·      Wealth management services offered (financial planning, banking, insurance, financial organization, etc.);

·      Staffing (developing a junior advisor, adding a CFP, hiring a practice manager, etc.);

·      Refining service models (i.e., creating two clearly distinct service models);

·      Total affluent client loyalty (surprise and delight, getting personal, engaging both spouses, etc.);

·      Gross revenue generated (fees, commissions, recurring, etc.); and

·      Net revenue.

Without knowing much of the details regarding Harold’s circumstances, I’d wager that if he flipped the switch in his brain, he’d be able to facilitate a wonderful career for some young advisor who’s willing to put forth the effort. Harold would need to fully re-engage, but nobody would benefit more than him. Let’s face it: We are most alive when we’re goal-focused.

Now we’re looking into the future with the glass half full and envisioning things that are yet to be, establishing goals and engaging in the process of making it happen. 

Remember the four traits of elite advisors: ambition, discipline, self-awareness, and deliberate practice. I’ve yet to meet an elite advisor who’s just hanging on. Embrace today’s reality, capitalize on the opportunities, and give yourself permission to make 2013 a seriously goal-focused year.        

The Oechsli Institutedoes ongoing research and coachingfor nearly every major financial services firm in the US. To take the first step towards coaching with The Oechsli Institute, complete the pre-coaching business profilefor a complimentary consultation.

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Tuesday, December 25th, 2012 EN No Comments