After graduating from the financial planning program at Kansas State, I decided to become a business consultant rather than a financial planner. After working at a financial planning firm, I realized that the independent advisory industry did not have a “career track” for young financial planners like me.
Once the decision was made, I launched a consulting business to help independent firms create career tracks and other programs designed to turn young planners into competent financial professionals.
For 16 years, financial planning career tracks have been at the core of my work, including leadership career tracks, advisory career tracks, client-service career tracks and investment-management career tracks.
The ‘Diamond’ Model
About eight years ago, my work on advisory career tracks culminated in a structure that I developed, called “Diamond Teams.” In short, a Diamond Team is made up of one senior advisor, two lead advisors and one entry-level associate advisor.
A firm can include several Diamond Teams. Each team works with its own group of clients, and each member of a team has specific duties.
The Diamond Team structure allows clients to see the amount of time and effort that a group of advisors devote to their finances. But equally important, associate advisors are given a front-row view of what financial advisors do, how they present their work and how they interact with clients.
We’ve found that participating in Diamond Teams prepares young advisors to become senior advisors — and interact with clients — much more quickly than they would without it. As a result, their firms can handle more clients and grow more quickly.