April 11, 2013

Pershing’s Dellarocca: Advisors Lack Time to Deal With Time Management

New study finds differentiating their business, keeping up with increased regulation top advisor concerns

Click to enlarge. Source: PershingWith the economy on the rise and tax day looming, advisors are experiencing their busiest season in some time, a new study from Pershing finds. The clearing and custody giant’s Study of Advisory Success notes that while a majority of advisors are satisfied with the pace of their businesses, 64% are concerned about having enough time “to get things done.”

“What’s interesting is that although more advisors are increasingly stressed about time management, they’re not taking action to deal with it," says Kim Dellarocca, head of practice management and segment marketing at Pershing. “If you had a bad back and you told me you had a bad back each week, I’d say ‘why aren’t you going to a chiropractor?’”

Reasons they're “stressed" include the following, according to the study:

  • Many advisors are taking on more clients—last year, two-thirds of advisors increased their number of clients by an average of 16%— while few (less than 10%) are trimming them. This equation leads to a multitude of time constraints for advisors.
  • Two primary concerns occupy advisors who believe they do not have enough time—differentiating their business from their competitors (59%) and keeping up with increased regulation (65%).

Respondents also said they would fire an average of 13% of their clients; reason given were they do not generate enough profit (71%), they consume too much time (64%) and they are too demanding (38%).

“Many of the 13% are legacy clients that might have been with them from the beginning, so they’re reluctant to part ways with them,” Dellarocca says. “But there are healthy ways to say goodbye. Why hang on to clients that aren’t adding to your business?”

Ironically, she adds, many advisors don’t deal with time management issues because they don’t have time to deal with time management issues.

So what can advisors do to balance business growth with efficiency?

“One of the first things we do [with our advisors] is a profitability analysis,” Dellarocca explains. “Scale is key to reducing cost and being more efficient, but how do they do it? Technology is one way.”

But even in this, advisors need help.

“We have a study we did with ActiFi that will be released soon. It found that 97% of their tech-related time researching a particular product or system, but use only 2% of the functionality once it’s acquired. We always ask if they're tapping into the technology expertise of their custodian.”  

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Read Your Optimum Day by Bill Good on AdvisorOne.

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