Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best for businesses of any size.
As an advocate of advisory team structures for about 15 years now, I’ve helped to create them in many large firms. But using team structures can be just as beneficial — if not more so — in small and mid-sized firms, too.
As the name implies, advisory teams are small groups of advisors who work together to service a specific group of clients. These teams can be organized in several ways.
The most common is combining advisors with a broad range of experience — from new recruits to firm partners. This creates an excellent opportunity for younger advisors to gain experience with clients, with different aspects of financial advice, and with the firm’s approach to serving its clients.
Another way to form a team is to combine advisors with varied specialties: portfolio management, financial planning, estate planning, insurance, etc.
This enables a team to work with a broad range of clients with varying needs as well as provides a good training platform for younger advisors. Of course, many firms combine both ranges of expertise and experience in their teams.
What’s In a Team?
There are obvious advantages of advisory teams over the more traditional solo or silo models for advisory firms. But it’s important to be clear about the term “advisory teams.”
Many firms believe that an “advisory team” is comprised of a senior advisor supported by a cadre of clerical staff. While this support may provide some leverage for senior advisors to work with a larger number of clients, it falls far short of the many benefits of actual advisory teams.
For instance, true advisory teams enable clients to be connected directly and quickly with a financial advisor on their “team.” Depending on their experience and professional focus, the advisor can then either help the client with their issue, or quickly direct them to an advisor who can.