Facing a wave of retirement among Boomer financial advisors and operating models that give little insight into client-advisor relationships, wealth management firms find themselves in a tricky situation when it comes to client retention. Firms are well aware that cutting checks to retiring advisors may have worked in the past, but they’ve struggled to implement the short- and long-term strategies necessary to manage this challenge on a more sustainable basis.

Meet today’s needs

At a minimum, firms need to address the reality of advisor succession by taking a few simple steps:

  • Initiate candid discussions with advisors who are nearing retirement age to understand the options they are considering and their goals for their clients.
  • Present advisors with retirement options that meet their needs and those of the firm and the clients.
  • Help advisors navigate their options and implement their choices to ensure visibility for the firm and a positive experience for customers.

Develop long-term strategies

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for firms. However, organizations that focus on developing a stronger relationship with the client by uniquely positioning their capabilities, people and brand will be better positioned to have retention success.According to a recent Accenture survey, most advisors leave their firms because they need better marketing support, lack the tools required to meet client needs, or are losing clients to other firms with better resources. Wealth management firms can start to address these challenges by examining the following levers:

  • Capabilities – Create a compelling value proposition for the clients and advisors.
  • People – Enable collaboration and build teams.
  • Brand – Strengthen the firm’s reputation and increase client affinity.

Focusing on these areas will not only increase advisor satisfaction, but also improve the client experience and ultimately strengthen the firm’s brand.

To learn more, download Advisor Succession Planning: Managing the Retirement of Baby Boomer Advisors (pdf; opens in a new window).