You’re ready to break away from your current firm and launch your own RIA. Congrats! But before you make the transition, you need to do the proper research and preparation. Here’s how you can make a seamless transition while also keeping your clients happy and feeling confident.
Before the Transition…
- Do your research. Know the rules and regulations for your specific situation. For instance, can you bring client information (names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and the account titles for their investment accounts) with you? What restrictive covenants are in your contract? Also, research the account opening and transfer process of your new firm.
- Assemble a team of professional advisors to help you with the transition. This includes lawyers, real estate agents, and other experienced professionals who can help you with any facet of the practice transition.
- Have you chosen your new platform or custodian already? Utilize their expertise and ask them questions about the transition process. When you move your clients to a platform like Equita Financial Network, our team provides you with support and expertise so the transition goes seamlessly. Ask your custodian or platform how they can help you with the transition, such as helping with the paperwork and transfer forms.
- Create a schedule of transition tasks. Assign a completion goal date for each task; center the timing around your proposed resignation date.
- Write out a client conversation script. This should include why you are leaving your current firm and choosing your new one. Think of questions that your clients might ask and write down your answers.
- Prepare the paperwork. Create a list of paperwork for initial client mailings. Draft your letter of resignation, a letter to your clients, and a letter for your clients to send to your prior firm. Create a Client Information Gathering sheet and prepare client packet materials. Equita Financial Network has templates and resources that financial advisors can use when transitioning and going independent.
During the Transition…
- Hand in your resignation letter — and don’t burn bridges. Stay professional even if your prior firm doesn’t (e.g. disparaging you to your clients or using fear tactics so your former clients don’t leave the firm and follow you). Take the high road. It’s best for you, your career, and your clients.
- Reach out to your former clients — but know the specific rules you need to follow when contacting clients. If they’re interested in joining you, start your game plan: Mail out client packets in groups, open new accounts or submit forms in batches, etc. Doing this in bulk will make the process more streamlined.
- Keep everything up to date. Update your master spreadsheet every day and keep a running list of clients who haven’t returned paperwork. Send clients status updates about how the transfer is going to ease any of their worries.
Transition Your Practice with Equita’s Help
With Equita Financial Network on your side, you can move your practice smoothly. Equita helps female financial advisors pursue an independent path so they can gain more freedom and control of their career and future, get access to better career opportunities not available at their current firm, and overall boost their job satisfaction. If you’re ready to break away from your current firm and go independent, reach out to our team today. Equita provides the foundation you need to launch a solo firm successfully.