Close Close
Popular Financial Topics Discover relevant content from across the suite of ALM legal publications From the Industry More content from ThinkAdvisor and select sponsors Investment Advisor Issue Gallery Read digital editions of Investment Advisor Magazine Tax Facts Get clear, current, and reliable answers to pressing tax questions
Luminaries Awards

Industry Spotlight > RIAs

How to Match Your Employees With the Right Jobs

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

The reason why so many advisory firms have people problems is simple: It’s because the firm is trying to fit square pegs into round holes and trying to make their people do a job they shouldn’t be doing.

To solve this problem, an advisory firm needs an organizational strategy. If you don’t have one, you’re not alone: advisor firms always have human capital issues because they don’t know how to organize their people. Instead of giving everyone a purpose and a defined career track, they check boxes on a piece of paper that don’t give direction or meaning.

If you want the people within your firm to excel in their roles, define those roles in a meaningful way. Great organizational structure must be guided by answering one question for each employee: “What is the primary reason this person is here?”

If that employee’s job is to give advice, that is their primary role. If their role is to service clients, that is their entire role. The more secondary responsibilities a person has, the worse their performance will be at fulfilling their primary duty.

An organizational strategy helps to remove the secondary roles and keep people focused on what they were hired to do.

The Modern Advisory Firm

To build effective organizational strategies, begin by putting employees into one of the following four departments:

1. Client Service and Operations

Team members should love to serve others and work directly with clients. They’re organized, can assemble puzzles quickly and enjoy completing tactical tasks.

Skills to Watch For: Look for people who have great organization skills and do the little things with attention to detail.

2. Investment Management

Employees in this career track love going deep into detail and get satisfaction from analyzing human behavior and pairing it with research to determine investment patterns. This track is for CFAs, not usually CFPs.

Skills to Watch For: This person should excel in studying human behavior and analyzing how those behaviors affect the markets.

3. Financial Planning

Financial problems are often complex, but they require simple solutions. These team members get their motivation from deriving strategies to improve planning for everyone the firm serves. They’re OK with remaining behind the scenes and are skilled at understanding and applying the impact of new regulations. This track is for CFPs.

Skills to Watch For: The best financial planners understand the core principles of creating a financial plan and have the ability to quickly apply those principles in a variety of ways for all types of situations. Even when an answer seems out of reach, they have the creativity to devise a new approach.

4. Advisory

Advisors are “people oriented.” They’re hired to solve problems and give advice, and they know how to communicate answers in a way that gives clients confidence. They work most closely with the planning department to bring the solutions out from behind the scenes and implement them in a client’s life. Like planners, advisors are typically on the CFP track.

Skills to Watch For: People who create strong relationships with ease. They’re able to think on their feet during meetings. They also work well with others, because they need to take insights from research and planning and combine information into a simple conversation for clients.

When you organize your team into defined departments, you remove ambiguity from your workforce. Every person in your organization understands their role and knows what you expect from them; there’s no question about what types of tasks they should prioritize.

When advisory firms approach team building in this way, they unlock the ability to grow at a faster and more stable rate than firms with employees who have divided attention across many core skills.


© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.