Can the grass really be greener?

We have seen more changes in the Independent Broker Dealer landscape over the past few years than ever before.   Long gone are the days when a broker dealers main function was to process transactions and pay their advisors on time.

Today, we are seeing top Independent broker dealers serving as partners to their financial advisors, investing profits back into their firm in areas such as technology, practice management and marketing to help their advisors be more efficient and therefore grow their business with more ease.

Advisors that are at broker dealers that have not expanded their offerings frequently call us feeling that there must be more out there.  Can the grass really be greener?

When advisors ask us what a broker dealer can do for them, our answer is that there are several offerings that we feel turn a broker dealer affiliation into an invaluable partnership.

One of the most valuable increased offering can be found in a broker dealer’s efficiency. In the past, most Independent broker dealers considered growth to be the sole responsibility of their advisors. Today, many broker dealers have realized that advisor growth translates to increased firm revenue. They have therefore infused capital into areas that help increase efficiency to free up advisors’ time for building assets. These efficiencies can be found in the form of streamlined processes, technology enhancements and automated compliance functions etc.

Another offering that has been elevated at several firms is for advisors that want to grow by acquisition. Many broker dealers are helping advisors expand their business with formalized programs for identifying, evaluating and even financing acquisitions. For advisors looking to build their branch, some broker dealers are focused on helping to recruit additional advisers to their practice.

More so than ever before, we have also seen independent broker dealers offering networking and educational opportunities. In the past, independent advisors often felt very alone. Today, advisers can have the best of both worlds: independence combined with conferences and events for networking. Regional conferences offered by broker dealers offer access to key experts on topical matters as well as access to like-minded professionals.

By far and away, the most important offering for advisors that are looking to grow their practice is with firms that offer robust practice management departments. Various Independent broker dealers have a practice management department in place that offers one-on-one training and formalized programs to help advisors market to particular niches. Marketing departments often offer full suites of instantly customizable materials such as websites, brochures, newsletters, advertising and more. Additionally, some marketing departments are working with their advisers on how to communicate with clients through social media.

Being an independent financial advisor no longer means that you are on your own. Independent broker dealers that act as partners in building their advisers’ businesses recognize that investment in services for advisors is the ultimate investment in their own bottom line.

We have seen firsthand the impact that quality broker dealer partnerships can have on creating advisor success stories. Independent Broker dealers are offering services that were unheard of in broker dealer generations past, and advisors who take advantage of these services are reaping the rewards. The grass really can be greener.

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