At the 2017 Broker-Dealers of the Year roundtable in Chicago, we asked the winners to tell us what they were hearing in recruiting meetings. What questions were they getting from prospects and what stories resonated most with them?
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Lon Dolber, American Portfolios Financial Services: They want to know if I’m going to sell the company. I can tell you that’s the first thing personally.
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Ryan Diachok, Geneos Wealth Management: From a recruiting perspective for us, it’s really telling a story, giving a background of how we got to where we are today, and the commitment to remain independent is conversation No 1. The Holy Grail in our industry from an advisor perspective, especially a large advisor group, is they crave that smaller firm, boutique-style culture.
They want that, but they also now fear the consolidation side of it. They don’t want to disrupt their business any more than they have to.
Amy Webber, Cambridge Investment Research: Yeah, a very similar [conversation:] private ownership is certainly first. Then connected to that, for us, is the flexibility.
Most of the conversations are, “My current [firm] just announced they’re shutting down X, Y, Z. What are you doing about that?” Last year I would say 90% of the time it was one of those things that was driving the move. This year it’s a little different because most firms have already made their announcements.
I think for us, right after independence is, “Hey, I want to be able to do it my way. Are you going to start forcing something?”
John Burmeister, Lion Street Financial: That’s another differentiator for us. Our advisors are owners. They buy into our parent company. In order to be part of the broker-dealer, you have to be affiliated with an organization that’s already bought into the parent company.
We have that mentality when we roll out different technologies. When we put in a new system, which we’re in the midst of right now, they’ve already seen the new system. They’ve already vetted the different vendors, so we use them as sounding boards. They’re partners in our decisionmaking process.
Webber: Another question that comes up in recruiting, I’m sure it comes up for everybody, is growth. “How are you going to help me grow? What resources do you have to help me grow?”