The financial services industry has experienced immense changes over the past forty years. The industry has moved from roughly 2,200 viable insurance companies to approximately 950, and has shifted from offering fixed products to a plethora of financial services. At one time financial products and services were primarily offered in separate silos in which banks did banking and accountants did tax work. However, the focus has changed leading to a blending of disciplines in which large agencies are bringing a multitude of offerings to the forefront. With these changes numerous opportunities have emerged for financial advisors and agency leaders are being forced to take a closer look at the strategic business model of their organization.
Over time, we have found that there are four options when it comes to choosing an appropriate business model. The first is to burry your head in the sand and struggle against the over impressive competition that brings multiple disciplines to the forefront. Next, is the option to partner with outside alliances that perform services you don’t. Third, is to build disciplines internally housing experts within your organization that focus on the wide array of services that your clients are in need of. The final, is a combination of options two and three building disciplines internally and forming alliances in such a delicate way that you’re not creating animosity to those that you are in partnership with. For us, the latter option of building disciplines internally while also forming relationships with alliances has been the most effective.
Our experience provides us with the wisdom to offer value to those we are in alliance with while also remaining out of competition with them. At the same time, we have chosen to take a comprehensive approach to helping clients build and protect their wealth. We have brought in a wide range of experienced and highly skilled specialists in multiple areas of expertise including a five person financial planning department, a team of business planning experts, attorneys, CPA’s, private equity advisors, as well as specialists in investments, risk management, and group employee benefits. These are highly credentialed and licensed professionals that are able to work on the front lines in developing a sound strategy in conjunction with a client’s own attorneys and CPA. The advantages for the client include sophisticated resources, and a team of experts all collaborating for one common goal which is the client’s financial security. Benefits to the advisor include the capability to offer multiple services in specialized areas therefore minimizing the opportunity for competitors to fulfill these needs while at the same time having the ability to control the quality of service delivered to each client.