The time has come and you’ve decided to transition to a new dealer. Perhaps your current firm is no longer aligned with your values or their policies are preventing you from growing and providing your clients with the best service possible. No matter what the reason, the decision to move your practice to a new dealer may be necessary and in the best interests of both you and your clients.
Approaching a transition with a clear strategy will always produce the best outcome. It is particularly important that you are discrete as you move through your due diligence process up until your resignation day. Here are some simple steps to take to ensure your discovery process and transition go as smoothly as possible:
1. Ensure you’re onside with the regulators. If you have had any past regulatory missteps or are currently under either close or strict supervision – you might want to think twice before moving. Any regulatory blemish may delay the transfer of your registration – or worse prevent your resignation from transferring at all. Before resigning Advisors should request “Form 4” from IIROC. This is your registration record – and IIROC will not ‘tip’ off your Dealer that you have requested a copy of this record.
2. Be Discrete. This may seem obvious, but it cannot be emphasised enough. Prior to your resignation date, do not share your plans with anyone including friends and colleagues. Hiring a firm such as AdvisorBridge will add an extra layer of protection – keeping you anonymous as you move through the discovery process with Dealers.
3. Get legal advice. Legal input from someone familiar with employment and/or principal/agent agreements can help you avoid a lot of unnecessary grief down the road. Have a lawyer with specific subject matter expertise review your current employment agreement as well as any future agreement you might be signing. Pay particular attention to non-solicit clauses, early termination clauses – and when signing with a new Dealer, ensure any schedules to an agreement reflect your understanding of earlier conversations.
4. Do not take proprietary information with you. Sometimes when Advisors leave their firm management takes it personally. They may even choose to retaliate. Don’t give them anything they can use against you, especially the opportunity to accuse you of absconding with proprietary, confidential or private information. Be sure to leave behind all corporate marketing and training materials, policy manuals, hard drives and client files. Be especially cautious when forwarding sensitive information to yourself via email – in other words – don’t do it! The objective is to have a clean departure with your integrity solidly intact.
5. Ensure your new firm will serve your clients well. You will want to ensure your clients will benefit as much (or more) as you will from your transition. When evaluating a new Dealer, consider your clients perspective first. You’ll want to make sure the client facing technology and reporting provides a better user experience than the one they are leaving behind. Also meet as many of your clients in person after you have resigned explaining your reasoning for moving and what’s in it for them – be prepared to answer to any objections as well. Reassure them that you will do everything in your power to make sure the transition is seamless and will not cause them any disruption.
The key to a successful transition is not only selecting the right Broker Dealer for your practice and addressing the standard formalities of the actual transition – but also having a proper strategy and workflow in place. By planning each step of the process your team will be properly positioned to hit the ground running immediately after you hand in your resignation letter.
If you are considering transitioning to a new Dealer, partnering with AdvisorBridge will ensure the proper care and attention is taken in researching and providing you with your best options anonymously. We work with Canada’s top Independent Dealers who allow us to provide our clients (Advisors) with a side-by-side comparison of the best possible opportunities available to them.
We'll help you find your best match easily, anonymously and in a timely manner.
To explore your transition opportunities, make us your first call.
Danny MacKay is the Co-founder of AdvisorBridge and SeekAdvisor.
If you have any questions or comments about this article please feel free to reach out - firstname.lastname@example.org