I am thinking about switching broker-dealers and I am uncertain of how to explain it to my clients. I am nervous they won’t understand and may get nervous themselves. What is the best way to talk to them about the change?
Do not let that fear of communicating stop you from making a change that could be in the best interest of you and your clients. Statistically speaking over 90% of your “book” will come with you. And this will give you a good opportunity to think about any clients you may not want to take with you! I have helped thousands of advisors through this transition in the course of my time and it is not as daunting as it may seem. First, you should have a letter prepared to send via email and snail mail to all of your clients announcing the change immediately (and also plan on getting on the phone and making calls immediately). The letter should explain that you are making a move and what the benefits of the move will be for both your business and for the clients. They will want to know the benefit to them (wider selection of investment products, lower cost, better service, etc).
You should ask the firm you plan on transitioning to if they have any materials already approved by compliance that you can leverage. Most large custodians and broker-dealers do. At Private Advisor Group, we arm our transitioning advisors with as much collateral and assistance as possible during this transition time. You should also try to get a new website up and running quickly so you can showcase the new firm in that way, and make changes to all your social networking sites.
Lastly, make sure you are working within the confines of protocol and have consulted with legal to ensure your departure is as smooth as possible. Keep in mind, the relationship you have with your clients is far more powerful than the relationship they have with your broker-dealer.
Best of luck to you! I am certain you will be successful,