Growing Your Firm through Your Assistant Team

Betsy Abney, Wealth Management Academy Assistant Advocate
April 12, 2019

As a leader in your firm, you only have so much time. As a financial advisor, that time should be concentrated on spending time with clients. The more of the day-to-day operations, administration, marketing and compliance work you can hand off, the more time you will have to spend with clients. Some firms think they need more financial advisors to meet with clients, when in reality, what they really need is to hand off some of the operations and administrative work to their assistants. Hiring the right administrative assistant team costs less than hiring more advisors and can provide your firm with unexpected growth potential.

Assistants can do many things to support their financial advisors that result in advisors having more time for clients. A basic assistant can set up client appointments, create and send out event invitations, prepare paperwork and perform scanning. That is expected. But a top assistant can do so much more to support you and your firm.

There are some firms with as many as five assistants supporting one advisor. Here’s how it works: A junior advisor that was an assistant and is now a CFP® or Registered ParaPlanner does financial planning prep work. One assistant handles all the compliance and marketing, while two others handle all the paperwork, client contact, pull reports for client meetings, scanning, etc. Yes, two may be needed for this volume of work. The aforementioned top assistant can actually manage all the others, serve as the executive assistant to the advisor, write reviews, handle HR and advanced client issues and may step in to support any areas needed. With a strong administrative team supporting the advisor, the advisor is able to spend the bulk of their time with their clients. With only one advisor, supported by a large assistant team, this firm can grow into a wildly successful firm.

First and foremost, you have to be willing to hire enough assistants to support the work you want to hand off. Also, your assistants are your client experience officers as well; they are there to make your client experience perfect. So how many do you need?

  • As a baseline, the advisor should not have to be the one doing paperwork and running client reports or setting up client meetings. A basic assistant can perform these functions for you.
  • Do you do the marketing for your firm? Does your firm do any marketing at all? If you are not having client events, posting on social media, sending client newsletters based on demographic, then you probably need someone to support you in this area. If there is not a need for this to be a full time position, you could hire someone part time for this work or add other support areas, such as HR or compliance.
  •  Are you the one preparing for office inspections, making sure all paperwork is properly filed away, sending in required documents to your Compliance department? Can someone else do that with your overview?

Take a look at what you do every day as a financial advisor. What are the things you love to do? Are there things you hate to do? Are these things you can hand off to someone else that supports you so you have more time with your clients? Evaluate your day and week and see what operations, administrative and marketing processes you can hand off to your support team so you can concentrate on strategic planning, meeting with clients and growing your business. Having a strong support team will support you, which in turn allows you to support your clients and have the time to grow your business through concentrating your time on your clients—and not their paperwork.

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