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  • by George Tamer
  • Managing Director, Strategic Relationships, TD Ameritrade Institutional

Charting the Course for Your Firm

Pull up that Anchor: Charting the course for your firm

I just returned from our Elite LINC conference in scenic New Mexico. It was energizing to spend time with some of the most talented and dedicated advisors in the industry. We took a new approach for the conference this year. Sessions explored topics such as mindfulness, innovation and understanding your own “flow.” ELITE LINC offered the opportunity to step back, take a breath and reflect. This change of pace from a traditional conference was well received.

The second day of the conference really stuck with me. I participated in the Flow Genome Project & TD Ameritrade Peak Performance Workshop. We explored the concept of “flow,” the peak performance state where you feel and perform your best both personally and professionally.

Driven by four accelerating forces — psychology, neurobiology, technology and pharmacology — we were taught to “train your brain to find your mind.” During the workshop we did an exercise called “What’s your Anchor?” to explore things that hold us back, physically, mentally, emotionally. We looked at what we can do to try and pull up our anchors and give advisors tools and inspiration to achieve optimal performance.

Elite LINC Advisors on hiring and retaining talent

Whether I was in organized sessions or casual conversations with advisors at the conference, when the topic turned to challenges, hiring and retaining talent came up time and again. Seems like a common “anchor” impeding optimal flow for many advisors. New industry data backs this up. In fact, the latest FA Insights People & Pay study shows advisors spend over three quarters ($0.77) of every expense dollar on people.

I have found that the most successful advisors are those who view this as an investment in the future of their firms —not just their largest expense. Here’s more of what I learned at our ELITE LINC talking with some of the most successful advisors at TD Ameritrade Institutional:

• The war for talent in our industry is real. Experienced and well-trained advisors are in the driver’s seat as far as job prospects. The recent FA Insights notes that firms may spend up to six months to find the right hire.

• Increasingly, firm owners have started to look in non-traditional areas for talent such as interns, women returning to the workforce or outside of the financial services industry, and non-financial industries.

• Many RIA firms would look to luring newly trained advisors away from broker/dealer firms. This path has narrowed in recent years as those firms are training fewer new recruits and scaling back the depth of their training programs.

• Hospitality is a great example of an industry focused on client service where there are transferable skills. If someone knows how to effectively deal with clients, perhaps they are half way there and can learn the ins and outs of financial services.

• Once you hire a new employee it’s just as important to retain him/her. Having clear, documented career paths, challenging work, the right mix of salary and incentives, an open feedback loop with regular reviews and a positive work environment all contribute to employee retention and overall firm success.

• Clients want to know that their advisor has a deep and talented bench staffed with advisors who can take care of their assets once the founders retire.

Need help hoisting your anchor? That’s why we’re here

I love my job — and it’s pretty simple: Find out what RIAs are trying to accomplish. Help them do it. Day in and day out we work to understand issues, and help advisors meet their challenges. Whether it’s a new technology, increase efficiencies or support in hiring and retaining talent. We are here to help RIAs meet the challenges they face.

So, whatever, your anchor is, we have the support and solutions you can leverage. Speak with one of our Business Performance Consultants. They offer access to resources to help you put a program together around sourcing talent that includes job models, employee reviews, job descriptions …. almost anything relating to your firm’s human capital.

Thank you to all the advisors who participated in ELITE LINC and to the talented team behind the the Flow Genome Project & TD Ameritrade Peak Performance Workshop.

I love to hear about what you are doing to remove obstacles that slow your progress toward your goals. If I can help, let me know. Anchors away!

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