Any independent financial advisor who has been through a broker dealer change knows what a cumbersome move it can be. Without strong support from both your new back office and your existing branch office, a transition can be overwhelming to say the least. At Summit we have done hundreds of transitions and the starting point and key factor is organization. Without organization, a transition will likely not go as smoothly as it would otherwise. Be sure that your client information is up to date and have a plan ready when it comes time to execute your move. Read your contract, be aware if you are under a non-solicitation or non-compete. This changes the dynamics of the dos and don’ts of transitioning.
Currently, many independent broker dealers are members of the Protocol process. This means when an advisor leaves a Protocol firm, only client contact information can be taken (name, telephone number, address, email, and account title). Protocol advisors are prohibited from taking any other information or documents. They are also required to provide a list to the releasing broker dealer with the resignation letter that would include the client names and account numbers for clients the advisor plans on transferring.
When an advisor moves to a new firm, the last thing they want to do is have their clients “feel” the move. A transition should be seamless to the clients – the only thing needed from them is to return the new firm’s signed paperwork to move the account(s). Remember to send all supporting documents, including check writing or automatic debits that are set up on the brokerage accounts. Some advisors find it easier to categorize clients into A, B and C tiers. Organize the clients – have a master list of additional documents that will be needed (margin, check writing, etc). Always review the paperwork with your client and be sure that all required forms are signed and dated. Keep your files organized and efficient. Without proper organization, a transition can be a nightmare. Save yourself from the added stress of a transition by creating an organized guideline to use before, during and after.
At Summit, we have a dedicated transition team that can answer any questions you may have. For more information on Summit Brokerage Services, visitwww.joinsummit.com or contact us at (800) 354-5528.