Advisors focused on growth are continually searching for ways to manage more clients and more assets. Adding an associate advisor to your team is one strategy to do that. An associate advisor is a novice advisor who generally has less than three years of experience and who supports the activities of the experienced advisor.
Associate advisors can be called by many titles, such as servicing advisor or staff advisor, and their job can structured in many different ways. The key for your practice is to determine what role the associate actually fulfills. One approach is to have the associate advisor focus primarily on assisting the main representative with client service. Another approach is to have the associate advisor do more complex tasks such as conducting portfolio and plan review meetings and closing prospects generated from the firm’s client acquisition activities. An associate may have his/her own book of business, generally on the lower tier of the firm’s clients. In some firms, the associate advisor may be a potential successor, likely a family member, who is learning the business by performing some or all of the above tasks.
It’s important to have a clearly defined job description that includes the primary objective of the job; the knowledge, skills and abilities required; and a list of the essential job duties and tasks. From this, the associate advisor should have answers to the questions “What do I do,” and “When do I do it?”
There should be a formal document that contains all of the specifics about the position itself (position, duties, compensation) as well as applicable state disclosures, and non-compete/ non-solicitation agreements. Having your employee sign all applicable documents is essential!