transferring clients to a junior advisor

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AdvisorControl.com's picture
Joined: 2009-05-29

Hello All,Does anyone have experience moving smaller clients to a junior advisor?  If so, how did you notify the client?I'm purging about 1/3 of my business and plan to do another 1/3 at year end - but want the clients to stay with a junior at my RIA firm.  My plan is a nice letter that positions the change as a benefit as the client will now get better service and more attention and then doing a joint meeting with the new advisor at the clients next review meeting.  No matter the process - my fear is the clients will see right through the bs and realize they just aren't big enough fish - which could make them feel rather stupid - which is not the real intent.  It's just not smart business to keep servicing them.Any constructive thoughts are appreciated; plus I'll share the results (if any clients left) as I've already mailed out the first 1/3 batch.Thanks,J

CashFlow's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-05

I think by adding to their account a second name or junior partner it will look as though you are adding a member to the team instead of handing them off.  Have the junior call to introduce and schedule a meeting so they now become the face man.  Let them continue to drip on these clients until the natural transition happens.  Have your support staff direct all calls from those clients to the junior as well.  I have always thought it a bad idea to simply hand off to someone else.  Make it look like an enhancement to supporting them by using your sales skills and explain your role will be more macro or something along that line.   

Moraen's picture
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Joined: 2009-01-22

I agree with CashFlow. Make it known that you are the still the senior advisor on the account, but management duties take you away from providing the level of service your clients have come to expect, so Junior will be taking more of an active role.

BerkshireBull's picture
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Joined: 2009-06-10

Wouldn't it be smoother for both of you if he worked as your junior associate of some sort for awhile and then transition them in a year rather than doing it out of the blue?

LuvIndy's picture
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Joined: 2008-06-25

"better service" means you have been giving them sh*tty service up until now. Wrong words.

B24's picture
B24
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Joined: 2008-07-08

As some have said, I would introduce the "new partner" as a new part of "your team".  The client doesn't need to know that in the background you will no longer have anythign to do with the account.  Same office, same staff, same investments, heck, they may even still see you from time to time. 
Also, you may want to use the "Due to the success of our firm....blah, blah,......I'm stepping back a bit from day-to-day client service to focus on growing/improving the firm" line (choose your own words).  Most people understand that business owners need to focus on running the business, and it's acceptable to do this.  But the old brokerage firm hand-off is usually not accepted very well (unless they were previously getting no service, and the new advisor starts servicing them).

AdvisorControl.com's picture
Joined: 2009-05-29

Here's the letter I sent - it happens to use a lot of the suggestions from people on this forum, though it was sent prior to my post.  Obviously I took out my firm name and email address to protect the innocent.Also @luvindy - better service doesn't mean there was sh*t service.  The service was very good - but we want it to be excellent; hence better.I'll find out soon if this works.  If the complaints come like crazy or accounts flat out leave I'll let you all know.  Here's the letter:Greetings ,I hope this letter finds you well and enjoying your summer.  Please read this letter in its entirety as it contains very important information regarding enhancements to your relationship with my firm, Inc.Over the past 5 years my once little company has grown tremendously and I have clients like you to thank for this growth.  What once was essentially a one-man operation has now grown into a multiple office firm with 6 full time employees.  In light of this growth I have noticed a significant lapse in the amount of time I’m able to commit to properly serving each client, while also managing the firm as a whole.Offering superb service to our clients and also managing investments at a high level requires a team effort; so in 2006 I began addressing these issues by hiring and training a financial advisor named Joel VanLastName.  For the past 3 years Joel has worked side-by-side with me and has become a key advisor in our office.  My intent from the beginning with him was to eventually work jointly in caring for my clients.The reason I’m sharing all of this is because effective June 30, 2009 Joel will begin operating as the primary personal financial advisor for the majority of clients that are accustomed to working only with me.  I will continue to act as the investment manager and work closely with clients.  This team-based approach will be of great benefit to you and all clients of my firm, inc.From a day-to-day perspective, very little will change.  You’re accounts will remain the same and the ongoing management will continue to be done by me personally.  The primary change will be in how much personal attention you will now receive that hasn’t been there in the most recent year.  Going forward Joel will be responsible for meeting with you at least twice per year and will also make phone calls between meetings to ensure that any questions or concerns you may have are addressed proactively.  I will not be involved in all meetings, but will be available when needed.My expectation is that the transition to this higher level of service will be smooth, but there will be a period of time required for clients to grow comfortable with a new person sitting across the desk at review meetings and a new voice on the phone.  Once you meet Joel however, I think you will be very pleased.  Joel has been a family friend of mine for nearly 10 years and both his character and commitment to clients is fantastic.Gerry and I will also remain available and equally committed to ensuring you are well cared for and completely satisfied working with my firm, Inc.Attached to this letter is a letter written by Joel introducing himself.  At your next review meeting (which will now be offered more frequently) both Joel and I will be present to make sure we all are on the same page and focused on helping you meet your financial objectives.  If you have questions or concerns between now and then, please feel welcome to call me directly or email me at Jason@myemail.I am sincerely thankful you have chosen to do business with me and truly believe you will be very happy with our team-based approach to having both significant personal attention and dedicated investment management.Warm Regards,JPresidentmy firm, Inc

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

That's beautiful. You recommend lying AND putting your lies in writing. That's as stupid as LA Polesmoker. 

AdvisorControl.com's picture
Joined: 2009-05-29

Alice Cooper wrote:That's beautiful. You recommend lying AND putting your lies in writing. That's as stupid as LA Polesmoker. 
What's the lie?  Do you ever offer constructive feedback; or just comments to amuse yourself?  I understand there is a lot of hot air and some flat out funny sh*t on this forum; but something other than bs wouldn't kill you, would it?

LuvIndy's picture
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Joined: 2008-06-25

AdvisorControl.com wrote:Here's the letter I sent - it happens to use a lot of the suggestions from people on this forum, though it was sent prior to my post.  Obviously I took out my firm name and email address to protect the innocent.Also @luvindy - better service doesn't mean there was sh*t service.  The service was very good - but we want it to be excellent; hence better.My expectation is that the transition to this higher level of service will be smooth, but there will be a period of time required for clients to grow comfortable with a new person sitting across the desk at review meetings and a new voice on the phone.  Once you meet Joel however, I think you will be very pleased.  Joel has been a family friend of mine for nearly 10 years and both his character and commitment to clients is fantastic.Attached to this letter is a letter written by Joel introducing himself.  At your next review meeting (which will now be offered more frequently) both Joel and I will be present to make sure we all are on the same page and focused on helping you meet your financial objectives.  If you have questions or concerns between now and then, please feel welcome to call me directly or email me at Jason@myemail.The primary change will be in how much personal attention you will now receive that hasn’t been there in the most recent year.
You wrote a good letter, and your writing skills are better than many FA's, but I seriously believed you introduced negative overtones that you could have avoided."we will continue giving you the same high level of service, and even higher" is better than saying "I know it's going to be rough for awhile" and "we didn't do a very good job last year, but we're going to try harder now." I think there is some ego stroking going on with the idea of "handing people off" with a grandiose letter rather than doing it subtly and letting the new dude ease into the process.You asked for opinions when you posted this to a forum...just giving it to you.Luv

AdvisorControl.com's picture
Joined: 2009-05-29

LuvIndy wrote:
AdvisorControl.com wrote:Here's the letter I sent - it happens to use a lot of the suggestions from people on this forum, though it was sent prior to my post.  Obviously I took out my firm name and email address to protect the innocent.Also @luvindy - better service doesn't mean there was sh*t service.  The service was very good - but we want it to be excellent; hence better.My expectation is that the transition to this higher level of service will be smooth, but there will be a period of time required for clients to grow comfortable with a new person sitting across the desk at review meetings and a new voice on the phone.  Once you meet Joel however, I think you will be very pleased.  Joel has been a family friend of mine for nearly 10 years and both his character and commitment to clients is fantastic.Attached to this letter is a letter written by Joel introducing himself.  At your next review meeting (which will now be offered more frequently) both Joel and I will be present to make sure we all are on the same page and focused on helping you meet your financial objectives.  If you have questions or concerns between now and then, please feel welcome to call me directly or email me at Jason@myemail.The primary change will be in how much personal attention you will now receive that hasn’t been there in the most recent year.
You wrote a good letter, and your writing skills are better than many FA's, but I seriously believed you introduced negative overtones that you could have avoided."we will continue giving you the same high level of service, and even higher" is better than saying "I know it's going to be rough for awhile" and "we didn't do a very good job last year, but we're going to try harder now." I think there is some ego stroking going on with the idea of "handing people off" with a grandiose letter rather than doing it subtly and letting the new dude ease into the process.You asked for opinions when you posted this to a forum...just giving it to you.Luv@luv - thanks - this is exactly the type of feedback I was after.  We actually did very well the past year from a performance perspective, just our service wasnt' where I wanted it to be because I was over-worked.  The clients will get the same portfolio management that I know they liked; but also now a much more high-touch relationship than I could offer solo.When I do the next 1/3 in October I will definitely try to keep the tones positive.  Also, the junior has been with me for 3 years so most of the clients know him and have been in joint meetings with both he and I.  Now I'll be phasing out of most of those meetings - so I think we're doing as you suggest, but that's only something the clients would know (not forum readers).Thanks again - the honest and constuctive feedback was the whole reason I posted the letter.

eggward's picture
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Joined: 2007-08-06

I was on the "junior broker" in a situation very similar to this about 10 years ago.  It worked so well we are now full partners. 
 
A few clients, mostly business owners and salespeople, knew exactly what was going on and respected the fact that their regular broker was trying to take care of them even if it was via another broker.  A few clients didn't like it because they didn't like change or my personality/style didn't mesh with them - they went back to the senior guy.  Most clients were fine with it once they realized I was sincere and would offer them better service.....and then did exactly that.  In the process, I uncovered a lot of assets that the senior guy didn't know about and was able to acat most of them in.  It really worked out well for everyone involved.
 
One surprise:  Many clients then and now say that they like the idea that there is a backup for whoever they normally deal with.....someone they have met, know and trust, to handle service issues when their primary guy is out of the office.

CashFlow's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-05

Good post eggward.  That is exactly why my team and I joined together.  We didn't add a junior broker just a combination of peers.  We will be adding a junior in the next couple of years though and hopefully we can present it seemlessly to the clients. 

LA Broker's picture
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Joined: 2008-12-03

Alice Cooper wrote:That's beautiful. You recommend lying AND putting your lies in writing. That's as stupid as LA Polesmoker. 
 
Alice Cooper, how can you rip on a guy who has built his business to the point of giving small clients away.  That is a problem everyone on this forum should strive for.  Just the fact you find a negative and imature spin on it shows what a dumb#ss you really are.  I guess you will never be able to hand off your clients because no junior broker wants to work with clients that you tied up in a 20 surrender.  The junior broker will retire before he can do anything for the poor 80 year old woman living on social security not able to get access to her only savings because she was prayed upon by Alice Cooper with his Arkansas EIA wrench (only goes up, never goes down) sales pitch at the senior center.  Oops, did I forget to mention the 20 year surrender he tells bene after she dies.

Morphius's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-21

Well, that sure put old Alice in his place, LA Pretender.   

Moraen's picture
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Joined: 2009-01-22

LA Broker wrote: Alice Cooper wrote:That's beautiful. You recommend lying AND putting your lies in writing. That's as stupid as LA Polesmoker. 
 
Alice Cooper, how can you rip on a guy who has built his business to the point of giving small clients away.  That is a problem everyone on this forum should strive for.  Just the fact you find a negative and imature spin on it shows what a dumb#ss you really are.  I guess you will never be able to hand off your clients because no junior broker wants to work with clients that you tied up in a 20 surrender.  The junior broker will retire before he can do anything for the poor 80 year old woman living on social security not able to get access to her only savings because she was prayed upon by Alice Cooper with his Arkansas EIA wrench (only goes up, never goes down) sales pitch at the senior center.  Oops, did I forget to mention the 20 year surrender he tells bene after she dies.

It's "preyed", not "prayed", dumbass. What, did you think they were going to church together?

You truly are an idiot.

B24's picture
B24
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Joined: 2008-07-08

AdvisorControl.com wrote:Here's the letter I sent - it happens to use a lot of the suggestions from people on this forum, though it was sent prior to my post.  Obviously I took out my firm name and email address to protect the innocent.Also @luvindy - better service doesn't mean there was sh*t service.  The service was very good - but we want it to be excellent; hence better.I'll find out soon if this works.  If the complaints come like crazy or accounts flat out leave I'll let you all know.  Here's the letter:Greetings ,I hope this letter finds you well and enjoying your summer.  Please read this letter in its entirety as it contains very important information regarding enhancements to your relationship with my firm, Inc.Over the past 5 years my once little company has grown tremendously and I have clients like you to thank for this growth.  What once was essentially a one-man operation has now grown into a multiple office firm with 6 full time employees.  In light of this growth I have noticed a significant lapse in the amount of time I’m able to commit to properly serving each client, while also managing the firm as a whole.Offering superb service to our clients and also managing investments at a high level requires a team effort; so in 2006 I began addressing these issues by hiring and training a financial advisor named Joel VanLastName.  For the past 3 years Joel has worked side-by-side with me and has become a key advisor in our office.  My intent from the beginning with him was to eventually work jointly in caring for my clients.The reason I’m sharing all of this is because effective June 30, 2009 Joel will begin operating as the primary personal financial advisor for the majority of clients that are accustomed to working only with me.  I will continue to act as the investment manager and work closely with clients.  This team-based approach will be of great benefit to you and all clients of my firm, inc.From a day-to-day perspective, very little will change.  You’re accounts will remain the same and the ongoing management will continue to be done by me personally.  The primary change will be in how much personal attention you will now receive that hasn’t been there in the most recent year.  Going forward Joel will be responsible for meeting with you at least twice per year and will also make phone calls between meetings to ensure that any questions or concerns you may have are addressed proactively.  I will not be involved in all meetings, but will be available when needed.My expectation is that the transition to this higher level of service will be smooth, but there will be a period of time required for clients to grow comfortable with a new person sitting across the desk at review meetings and a new voice on the phone.  Once you meet Joel however, I think you will be very pleased.  Joel has been a family friend of mine for nearly 10 years and both his character and commitment to clients is fantastic.Gerry and I will also remain available and equally committed to ensuring you are well cared for and completely satisfied working with my firm, Inc.Attached to this letter is a letter written by Joel introducing himself.  At your next review meeting (which will now be offered more frequently) both Joel and I will be present to make sure we all are on the same page and focused on helping you meet your financial objectives.  If you have questions or concerns between now and then, please feel welcome to call me directly or email me at Jason@myemail.I am sincerely thankful you have chosen to do business with me and truly believe you will be very happy with our team-based approach to having both significant personal attention and dedicated investment management.Warm Regards,JPresidentmy firm, Inc
Jason, very good overall.  One thing that I don't think you made real clear was the fact that you need to commit a tremendous amount of time to the investment management side of the business (even if it's not really a big time committment).  It seems that's one of the selling points of your business, so you should make it clear (you made one brief mention of it) that YOU are still the investment manager, ensuring that their investments continue to be managed at the very highest level.
By the way, nice article in Reg Rep about you on this very same topic.
 

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

LA Broker wrote:Alice Cooper wrote:That's beautiful. You recommend lying AND putting your lies in writing. That's as stupid as LA Polesmoker. 
 
Alice Cooper, how can you rip on a guy who has built his business to the point of giving small clients away.  That is a problem everyone on this forum should strive for.  Just the fact you find a negative and imature spin on it shows what a dumb#ss you really are.  I guess you will never be able to hand off your clients because no junior broker wants to work with clients that you tied up in a 20 surrender.  The junior broker will retire before he can do anything for the poor 80 year old woman living on social security not able to get access to her only savings because she was prayed upon by Alice Cooper with his Arkansas EIA wrench (only goes up, never goes down) sales pitch at the senior center.  Oops, did I forget to mention the 20 year surrender he tells bene after she dies.It's easy...He's a liar, just like you. Please stop criticizing my job. Do I come to where you work and slap the d***s out of your mouth?

Moraen's picture
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Joined: 2009-01-22

Please stop criticizing my job. Do I come to where you work and slap the d***s out of your mouth?

Best post ever.

AdvisorControl.com's picture
Joined: 2009-05-29

Alice Cooper wrote:

LA Broker wrote:Alice Cooper wrote:That's beautiful. You recommend lying AND putting your lies in writing. That's as stupid as LA Polesmoker. 
 
Alice Cooper, how can you rip on a guy who has built his business to the point of giving small clients away.  That is a problem everyone on this forum should strive for.  Just the fact you find a negative and imature spin on it shows what a dumb#ss you really are.  I guess you will never be able to hand off your clients because no junior broker wants to work with clients that you tied up in a 20 surrender.  The junior broker will retire before he can do anything for the poor 80 year old woman living on social security not able to get access to her only savings because she was prayed upon by Alice Cooper with his Arkansas EIA wrench (only goes up, never goes down) sales pitch at the senior center.  Oops, did I forget to mention the 20 year surrender he tells bene after she dies.It's easy...He's a liar, just like you. Please stop criticizing my job. Do I come to where you work and slap the d***s out of your mouth? @alicecooper - I don't have a problem with your generally crude comments - but what is the basis for your liar comments?  Just curious.  You're welcome to use an explicitness, bathroom humor, and vulgarisms you'd like; just include some substance to your comments when you call someone out as a liar.

eggward's picture
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Joined: 2007-08-06

Moraen wrote: Please stop criticizing my job. Do I come to where you work and slap the d***s out of your mouth? Best post ever. Don't give him too much credit....its a line used by Kathy Griffin to put down hecklers during her standup routine.

HymanRoth's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-25

Moraen wrote: Please stop criticizing my job. Do I come to where you work and slap the d***s out of your mouth?

Best post ever.

You just haven't been here long enough.  He blows the dust off that line about every 18 months.

BerkshireBull's picture
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Joined: 2009-06-10

Quote:Do I come to where you work and slap the d***s out of your mouth? LMAO!!!!Excellent!

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