Succession planning is a topic that’s on everyone’s minds, but that no one wants to talk about. For busy producers, it’s a necessary burden, a process that will protect the firm they’ve worked so hard to grow, ensure their clients are well looked after and maximize the value of their book of business.
Of course, succession planning is very hard work. Gail Linn, a financial planner with MetLife, names succession planning as the biggest challenge she faces in her New York-based practice. Says Linn: “My clients rarely ask me about my retirement plans, but internally it is always top-of-mind for me, because I want to ensure that when I choose to start slowing down, my clients have someone that they will feel comfortable working with. Over the years, I’ve made many partnerships, but I haven’t found that ideal package [for a succession partner] yet.”
The challenge hit home on a larger scale looking at the results of National Underwriter’s recent Independent Producer Research Study, in which a monstrous 68 percent of respondents said they did not have a succession plan. Among this group, 27 percent of respondents said they had no plans to ever create a succession plan; 41 percent said they would ultimately create a plan but had not yet gotten around to it.
Here, we take a closer look at why that is — and why it’s in your best interest to follow in Linn’s footsteps and plan early and often for the future of your own firm.
Click here for more content from LifeHealthPro’s 2013 Independent Producer Study.