What You Need to Know
- The pandemic created a great opportunity for advisory firms to rethink the way they work and where.
- Do whatever you can to empower each person to do their part in your organization, Altair Advisers' CEO says.
- Learn delegate, think about your clients' entire families, and manage to results, she also suggests.
As advisory firms work to grow their business over the next decade, there are several steps they can take, according to Rebekah Kohmescher, CEO of Altair Advisers in Chicago.
Her firm’s entrepreneurial journey was sort of a “forced or accidental one, which I think is common across industries but certainly in ours,” she said in the session “Advisory Firm of 2030” during the BNY Mellon | Pershing INSITE21 virtual conference.
Altair started out as part of Arthur Andersen in 2002. Kohmescher’s group at that now-defunct firm focused on investment advisory, financial planning and wealth education. After leaving the firm, it started focusing on those same areas as an independent wealth advisory company.
“There were eight of us at that time and we took 50 clients and $500 million with us,” she recalled. “We’ve since grown all organically over the last almost 19 years to over $6 billion and probably almost 400 families today that we help.”
During the presentation, she was interviewed by Ben Harrison, co-head of Wealth Solutions at BNY Mellon | Pershing, who said that as he talked to leaders around the country, “growth is always top of mind.”
BNY conducted a poll at its Elite Advisor Summit in which “almost 50% of the respondents said that growth was coming from client referrals” and 70% said they believed inorganic growth will be a “really important strategy over the next decade.”
“We believe the 2020s are lining up to be the most powerful decade ever for independent advice,” Harrison said.
He asked Kohmescher to give her take on how to successfully tackle the challenges all firms face on their way to becoming a wealth management firm of the future, and five of the standout tips she provided are below.
Top 5 Ways Advisory Firms Can Grow Over the Next Decade
1. Rethink the way your organization works and where it works.
Take advantage of this “once-in-a-generation, once-in-a-100-year opportunity to rethink the way work happens and where it happens,” she suggested. “I don’t think that 100% remote for everyone is best and I don’t think five days a week, which now seems excessive, in the office is right for everyone.”