Professionals in the wealth management industry take the time to fully understand their clients, including their goals and needs. Have you taken the time to do the same exercise for yourself and your own firm? Before you can make decisions about your firm’s succession strategy, it is necessary that you have a solid understanding of your own objectives. After you go through that process, you will be ready to plan for your firm’s succession.
It is important to know all the choices that are available to ensure you find the best possible solution for your needs. When you do not have a thorough understanding of all the options available, you can run into challenges. Challenges can occur with any choice you make, often by not taking the appropriate steps that are necessary to avoid the potential pitfalls. Problems can arise whether you choose an internal succession strategy, a merger or an acquisition. Challenges emerge from differences in investment philosophy and discipline, service delivery standard, technology, and one of the most important issues: aligned core values and the culture of the firm. After completing the due diligence to address the possible land mines, you are ready to go through the changes.
We have all experienced some change in our professional careers, but the change that occurs with you and your firm’s exit strategy is quite unique. You may give up control and then integrate into a model you did not choose, possibly losing your identity if you are not prepared. This is where your emotions can get in the way of accepting the transition. Listen to your gut. If something does not feel right, it probably is not. Change should not be a dreadful experience – if you have done your homework, accept the decision you have made and know that change is inevitable.
Remember, this is not a one size fits all industry. Are you ready for change?