One advisor likened the following to being kicked in the stomach twice: He had just changed broker-dealers when the new B-D was purchased and he had to begin again the search for a B-D. He estimated that he lost significant revenue as a result of the time spent transitioning to another broker-dealer.
No one has extra staff to process excess paperwork connected with such transitions. It is always a distraction from the team’s primary sales and customer service efforts.
There are several reasons why changing broker/dealers is such a tough job and why outsourcing should be considered. Chief among them: Office staff that have the skills to handle transition tasks already have a full plate handling current needs.
Office Staff Requirements
Advisors hire to fill three positions:
? The early bird who processes all the paperwork, gathers data and prepares reports for clients. This individual needs quiet, uninterrupted time to do the job well.
? The client liaison–the person who has a smile in her voice and whom clients often prefer to speak with because a long-term relationship has been established.
? The office manager, the most important cog in the wheel, who is involved in firm strategy, communicating with other team members and keeping everything on track.
When any of these important team members get sidetracked from regular tasks to handle parts of a broker/dealer transition, it quickly becomes apparent that business will suffer during that transition.
How can one avoid this problem? One solution is to outsource a B-D transition to a vendor that has developed systems and skilled staff to handle the work.
But before doing so, one needs to carefully investigate people outside the office to trust with the very crucial task of handling transition paperwork. Mistakes in such work can quickly lead to client dissatisfaction. The work required to move to a new broker/dealer sounds straightforward, but includes many detailed steps, such as:
? Process “Change of BD” documents as they come back from clients.
? Follow up for missing information.
? Follow up for those not returning documents.
? Review and confirm completion of all documents.