Legal Risks of Ordering a Return to the Office?

Plus: Effective Talent Search and Retention in a Hyper-Competitive Market, and Why Saying “Return to Work” is Triggering to Employees

To my fellow WSR community members:

Larry Roth, CEO, Wealth Solutions Report

Instead of a full-scale return to pre-pandemic normality, we’re looking at multiple areas of the country grappling with renewed COVID outbreaks, as well as the emergence of dangerous new variants of the virus.

Wealth management firms, financial advisors and third-party solutions providers are trying to navigate an industry landscape where a significant percentage of employees will continue to be remote workers on an open-ended basis.

Should I stay or should I go?

Against this backdrop, our industry is seeing a heightened competition for top talent, even as key employees across many firms decide to switch jobs or just take a pause on working, as part of a nationwide trend that has been dubbed by many as “The Great Resignation.”

How can wealth management firms and their professionals make sense of all the new complexities related to the future of work, talent acquisition and employee retention?

That’s precisely the area of focus for this week’s issue, encompassing the following:

Who says Zoom meetings aren’t so exhausting?
  • Digital communications compliance in a permanently virtual world.  In our Digital Domain section, Marianna Shafir of Smarsh, the global financial services regtech firm, discusses how wealth management firms should best address the mounting volume of digital communications content in a permanently virtual world on a compliant basis.
  • Can independent financial advisor businesses compete more effectively in the hunt for talent?  In Upmarket, Hank Multala of Adviser First Partners, which delivers weighted compatibility standards built by psychologists to match financial advisors with wealth management firms and financial institutions, shows WSR readers how independent financial advisors can more effectively compete in the pursuit for – and retention of – key employees.
  • Employees hate it when firms use the term “return to work” – How to structure a return to the office.  ComplySci’s Amy Kadomatsu addresses how employees get justifiably triggered when firms use the term “return to work.”  It’s a turn of phrase that suggests employees weren’t working – in many instances, harder than ever – throughout the darkest days of the pandemic and beyond. As part of this story, Amy shares actionable guidance on how wealth management firms can structure different routes for employees to select when it comes to engaging with a traditional office environment.
  • Executive search and retention in the era of “the Great Resignation.” We’ve launched our inaugural Human Capital Corner column, to be spearheaded by Cecile Munoz, President of U.S. Executive Search & Consultancy, with a focus on strategic organizational and HR issues that are shaping the future of our industry.  For this issue, Cecile connected with Ellen Stanley of George K. Baum & Company, who has served in a number of Chief HR Officer roles at major firms and financial institutions, including Cetera Financial Group and Key Bank.
  • What are the real legal risks to wealth management firms of return to office policies and in-person events as the pandemic continues?  Scott Matasar of Matasar Jacobs LLC outlines the legal risks – where they exist, and where they do not – with respect to return to office policies, in-person versus virtual events and more.  He draws on an extensive reservoir of experience running a national law firm with a singular focus on serving IBDs, RIAs and other financial advisor businesses.

Is this a lengthier issue than usual?  Absolutely.  But we’re thrilled that this week’s issue is 100% the product of WSR reader suggestions over the past 30 days.  

As always, please share content items that resonate with your colleagues, industry friends and contacts; connect with us via LinkedIn and keep letting us know about the subjects you’d like us to explore further.


Larry Roth, CEO

Wealth Solutions Report

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