Disruption creates opportunity

Disruption creates opportunity

Skip Schweiss | November 7, 2016

Let’s look at how to potentially take your business to the next level in the new landscape.

With the fall conference season progressing, I’ve recently had the pleasure to meet some great people and speak at many events, including the FPA’s CO chapter event, the Tiburon CEO Summit, and the Insiders Forum. And, no big surprise, the Department of Labor (DOL) Conflict of Interest Rule continues to be a hot issue everywhere.

As I’ve shared, most of the RIAs I’ve spoken with have taken a good, long look at their businesses to make adjustments in preparation for the DOL Rule that takes effect in April 2017.

So, now it’s time to push the conversation forward and do more than be prepared to simply run your business under the new set of rules. Let’s look at how to potentially take your business to the next level in the new landscape.

Wall Street reacts

Today’s pace of change in the industry can make your head spin. Wall Street is reacting and we’ve all seen the headlines. From a major broker-dealer discontinuing mutual fund sales and annuities in commission-based accounts to another rumored to be putting itself up for sale . . . firms that rely on sales of high-commission products anticipate a big squeeze on already tight margins.

Advisors at independent broker-dealers who rely heavily on the sale of high-commission products may find themselves looking for a change. Perhaps a new way of doing business. And, potentially a move to the RIA model.

Window for expansion?

Now is the time to consider whether this is your chance to turn chaos into a positive. Is your firm looking to grow? Advisors seeking (or forced) to complete their move away from commission-based business may make a great addition to your team. Also, smaller RIAs whose businesses are under stress from the wave of coming regulation may be looking to merge with a larger firm.

I anticipate a lot of advisor movement in the coming months. If adding new talent is on your “someday” list, today could be that day.

We also feel that the DOL rule provides more wind in the sails of RIAs advising retirement plans. Your competitors in this space will likely have to operate under the rigors of the Best Interest Contract Exemption, while you likely do not. Take advantage of the opportunity!

Start asking around

For such a big industry, sometimes it can still feel like a small town. We all know advisors at other firms. With holiday party season approaching, why not start asking around to see who might be open to learning more about the RIA model? If you find someone who’d like more information, you are our best advertisement. Tell them what your love about the industry and share your story.

I’ll be in touch soon. Until then, please reach out to me if there’s something on your mind.