EDELMAN FINANCIAL SERVICES, PRESIDENT
For Moore, it is crucial to hire new staff or outsource a function if that task is taking a revenue-producing employee away from their main objective.
Edelman Financial Services, which is based in Fairfax, Virginia, manages more than $21 billion in assets and has 160 financial planners across 43 offices, serving more than 35,000 clients.
‘If you as a revenue producer are doing anything administrative in function, that should either be outsourced or hire somebody else to do that for you,’ Moore said.
‘It’s really not about if that new person is profitable… maybe they are not, but maybe you are more profitable.’
BEACON POINTE WEALTH ADVISORS, PARTNER AND PRESIDENT
Cooper said success started with finding the right people and letting them flourish. When recruiting, he said it was important to hire people and let them do what they are good at, rather than micromanaging the situation. He said this was a lesson his firm had learned through experience.
‘Instead of finding the best athlete and turning them loose on the field to let them do what they do great and letting them find and understand the role, we would dictate the role and their actions and ultimately try to dictate the outcome,’ he said.
Around two years ago, Cooper switched things up, and the goal became finding the best candidate, giving them room to operate and room to fail.
Cooper, whose Newport Beach, California-based RIA Beacon Pointe is a $9 billion shop with 65 advisors serving 3,700 clients from 12 offices across the US, added that firms were more attractive to potential candidates if they could show consistent growth.
He recommended that smaller firms should aim to grow assets at around 15% to 20% per annum to attract the best players and avoid getting left behind.
SAVANT CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, CHIEF EXECUTIVE
Brodeski said it was more important to hire those who fitted in with the firm’s culture than those with seemingly impressive credentials.
Savant Capital is a $6 billion firm based in Rockford, Illinois, with 42 advisors across 13 offices, serving 4,300 clients.
‘It’s nice if you get CFPs and CFAs, but that stuff can be trained,’ Brodeski said.
‘What you can’t train is character, intelligence, hard work, alignment of values... you can train the technical stuff, but you can’t change the core people.’
EXENCIAL WEALTH ADVISORS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE
Burns believes that unless you implement clear guidelines for what each employee’s responsibilities are, you enable poor performance.
‘You have to fire yourself from at least one or two things a year and then by definition somebody else has to take it and hold accountability,’ Burns said.
‘If you don’t do that… you’re going to get sucked into things all of the time because people aren’t growing or being held accountable… you’re actually enabling that type of organization.’
Exencial Wealth Advisors is headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and has $2.1 billion in assets under management with 17 advisors across four offices, catering to 950 clients.
Burns said there was a real need for firms to hire personnel not involved in day-to-day planning. At many RIAs a number of duties such as technical support or marketing are taken on by advisors, which in turn limits their time to focus on financial planning, he said.
STRATOS WEALTH PARTNERS, FOUNDER AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE
Leaders at growing RIAs must stop trying to do everything themselves and instead trust their new employees to take on these tasks, according to Concepcion.
This, he said, would let leaders focus on the jobs that mattered most.
‘If you hire one person, that should free you up to do other things,’ Concepcion said. ‘As business owners, we really have to be firing ourselves almost every year from a responsibility until we have one or two things that we feel we can do best.’
Concepcion said that at one point his firm had 300 to 400 employees because there was no HR department, meaning every team was recruiting for itself. This changed when an HR department was added and recruitment became a more organized process with fewer roles duplicated.
Beachwood, Ohio-based Stratos was founded in 2009 and is a $12.1 billion RIA with 250 advisors, serving more than 10,000 clients from 87 offices nationwide.
JASON DEL COL
UNITED CAPITAL FINANCIAL ADVISORS, HEAD OF ADVISORY SERVICES
Del Col said hiring non-advisor staff could help transform a business, and that it was important to hire people from diverse backgrounds, as they could bring a fresh perspective to the firm.
‘Even in our corporate headquarters, we’re hiring people who represent a completely different demographic or who can deliver things on the digital side… creating videos that clients actually want to watch,’ Del Col said.
‘Those types of people can radically transform your business.’
Del Col recently made a hire whose job is to help run all of the firm’s offices. He said that while he liked the employee, she wasn't really cut out for the job. Instead, he allowed her to create a digital video channel that goes out to all employees across all offices.
According to Del Col, the culture and the way the business operated was completely transformed.
Founded in 2005, United Capital is a Newport Beach, California-headquartered RIA and has $20 billion in assets under management with more than 195 advisors, who serve more than 19,000 clients from 80 offices across the US.
SUMMIT TRAIL ADVISORS, FOUNDER AND MANAGING PARTNER
Petersen agreed with Concepcion that leaders need to avoid being distracted by every aspect of their businesses.
‘The risk we all run with small businesses is this concept of multiple hats, where we’re all doing whatever needs to be done by the end of the day,’ he said.
‘It can be good on one hand, but on the other hand it does allow you to get into things as a professional that you should not be involved in.’
Headquartered in New York City, Summit Trail Advisors has $6 billion in assets under administration and 15 advisors, who serve 290 clients from four offices nationwide.
Like Concepcion, Petersen said proper organization of roles and good communication of this – neither of which the firm had done initially – had helped the firm improve productivity.