You’re only as strong as your support system, and advisors work with various partners to assist them in their day-to-day operations, from custodians to technology providers.
The end goal is the same: to give clients the best service available as they make important decisions about their financial futures.
Whether they’re providing the valuable services and education that enable advisors to serve clients, offering solutions to critical practice management issues or helping advisors tell their stories, these advisor partners have a clear impact on the way advisors do business.
Colleen Bell, Cambridge Investment Research
Cambridge doubled down on the DOL’s fiduciary rule when it launched a dedicated Fiduciary Services unit in January and named Bell, a former SEC examiner and 10-year Cambridge veteran, to lead it.
“We wanted to know what our advisors needed,” Bell said, and to do so, “we needed to think like our advisors.”
The rule, released April 6, “is making us think about how we do business,” Bell said, and like many other honorees in the 2016 IA 25, she pointed to technology as the way forward.
“The only way to [comply] is to use technology. We have the basis with our technology partners” Bell said, while WealthPort, Cambridge’s tech platform, “will become even more important to us.” Using the platform means “you don’t need to start over, but work with what we’re used to today to comply,” she said, noting that part of the solution will be eased by the fact that the “fintech companies have been very effective with integration.”
Jason Carroll, Live Oak
Carroll is helping advisors solve one of the biggest challenges the industry faces: sustaining it beyond the end of individual advisors’ careers. Advisors struggled to address succession planning in their own firms, and Carroll, through his work at Live Oak Bank, is removing one of the obstacles to that planning by offering manageable financing options to advisors who want to purchase a firm.
“Whether it be strategic acquisition or a retiring advisor who wants to either fully exit their business or develop an exit plan that should be capitalized at a particular point, we do it,” he said.
Carroll leads the investment advisory channel for Live Oak, which offers financing to firms in various dedicated channels. He says the dedicated experts who work in each channel are more important than the loans themselves.
“We look to go into cash-flow rich, recession-proof industries: You’re always going to take your dog to the vet, you’re always going to buy beer and you’ll always need someone to plan your finances,” he said.