You’re smart, and you do what’s best for your clients. So you didn’t wait to find a successor. You got on the ball and found one, a promising younger FA. Now she’s installed at your firm and learning what it takes to be boss.
So you can go a bit slower now, right? Shorter days, extra vacation — maybe take a bit longer returning calls. Though tempting, that’s a way to lose clients — especially if you’ve neglected to tell them your successor isn’t just another hire.
Clients start to get worried when their advisor approaches age 60 with no sign of a successor, according to Advisor Perspectives. Though some may confine their displeasure to grumbling, others will leave you because of it.
But “just having a succession plan isn’t enough,” practice-management consultant Dan Richards writes in the blog. “You need to let clients know what that plan looks like.”
In a bigger sense, Richards’ post is a reminder. Having a succession plan is as important for the signals it sends here and now as for its substance and impact over time. So if your chosen successor is already aboard, don’t fall into the trap of hiding her for fear her presence makes you look like a has-been, he says. Instead, flaunt your replacement. Heighten her visibility in the office, introduce her to all your clients and contacts, and generally make her the embodiment of your permanent commitment to them.
Making sure your successor is plugged in where it counts shows you’re a clever businessperson and a true fiduciary. And it can help clients feel they picked your successor themselves — just as they originally chose you — instead of having someone imposed on them without consultation.