A panel comprising four members of Pershing’s advisor-focused brain trust took to a New York stage Monday afternoon in a Discover 2014 session that addressed a wide range of topics, from the shrinking broker-dealer ranks to robo-advisors to which advisors (and their partners) will thrive next year and beyond.
Mark Tibergien, CEO of Pershing Advisor Solutions, urged the mostly broker-dealer attendees to address three major issues — the capacity to sustain growth, their “relevance to consumers and continuity,” including dealing with the advisor talent shortage, and the succession planning issue.
“This is a business created by boomers for boomers; that has to change,” urged Tibergien. Instead, he encouraged his listeners to ask themselves, “which business are you in? If your strategy is still relevant, that should inform your structure, the people you hire and your compensation methods.”
As for success in the future, Tibergien said advisors should prepare by first asking themselves “How old will you be 10 years from now? What will your clients look like 10 years from now?”
There are “two kinds of leaders,” he said, “those who live in the past and complain about the present, and those who see opportunities” in the present and align their firms to take advantage of those opportunities.
Successful advisory firms — those who know what business they’re in and demonstrate their value to clients — have also been able to raise their fees, he reported. “The top-performing firms have raised fees over the past few years,” charging a fee for service in addition to fees for managing assets.
(Tibergien is a regular columnist for Investment Advisor.)
John Brett, a Pershing managing director and former Merrill Lynch executive, cited two big trends. In the retirement planning space, he said “the biggest challenge is sequence of returns” in retirement, crediting Moshe Milevsky’s pioneering work on that issue at York University in Toronto.
Brett also encouraged advisors to better prepare for the future by ensuring that their technology matches their clients’ expectations and needs: “Does your firm have the Web presence that allows for collaboration?”