What Makes a Successful Consultant Transition
The most successful advisory transition occurs when all parties are fully focused on the process at every step. Transitions have a plethora of moving parts, and without full engagement with the advisory team involved, it becomes difficult to facilitate changes to your preferred (and in most cases, mission-critical) timeline. From my experience working with consultants, I provide an example of a recent transition, focusing on two important keys to success.
In 2021, Todd BessieThe founder of Credim Wealth Partners, joined our firm. He shared that he wanted to start a transition when the Labor Department’s new fiduciary rule began. After doing his due diligence and selecting a new firm to join, Todd knew he didn’t want this transition to be as poor as the previous one, so he and his team set out to work together. Made a very conscious effort. me and mine.
Before beginning the process of bringing a consultant and their firm on board, we will spend six to eight weeks conducting all the necessary back-end preparations. This is important not only for the consultants we are bringing on, but for the transition team as well. Our team plays a different, important role in each process – staying in lock step with each other and making sure we are organized and on track.
One of the ways we accomplish this is by creating a customized transition calendar for each consultant, clearly outlining our process on a shared schedule. This ensures that every necessary step is accounted for across departments and enhances our ability to meet the change on our predetermined timeline. The calendar includes a wide range of items such as technology training and IT set-up, licensing, repapering plans, marketing, training on client experience and much more. Realizing that it is a heavy lift to transition for consultants – laden with emotional aspects that are often forgotten – we take it upon ourselves to handle as much administrative and preparatory work as we can for our advisors. When we have completed all our preparatory work, it is the turn of the consultant to take the wheel.
Todd and his team were incredibly organized and dedicated to the calendar we prepared for them, always making sure to complete action items on deadline. Additionally, he trusted our process. He was just as prepared as we were, so when the time came for the transition phase, both our team and his were fully prepared.
Perhaps most importantly, Todd had really ripped off the strong relationships he had with his clients. Todd was able to clearly explain to his clients why he was making the career change and how the decision would benefit the firm. Because of the trust she had built in their client relationships, they were more than willing to listen to her and be guided through the transition successfully and quickly – and that made all the difference. After four weeks, 80% of Todd’s business had already been transferred.
While most fluid transitions aren’t free from stressful moments and sleepless nights, one point I found particularly gratifying was when Todd told me he slept very well the night before the official transition; Because he felt confident that everything was executed perfectly. And This is because every player involved in the process came prepared, communicated effectively and was motivated to successfully complete this complex process as a cohesive team.
Andrey Peterson Chief Implementing Officer is integrated partner