Building Trust In Turbulent Times: Communication’s Crucial Role For Home Office Leadership

The COO Of Stifel Independent Advisors Draws Inspiration From Financial Advisors In Strengthening Relationships And Weathering Industry Shifts.
Tim Boostrom, COO, Stifel Independent Advisors
Tim Boostrom, COO, Stifel Independent Advisors

The COO Of Stifel Independent Advisors Draws Inspiration From Financial Advisors In Strengthening Relationships And Weathering Industry Shifts.

In a wealth management landscape that is perpetually evolving and demands resilience in the face of uncertainty, more firms are investing in creating a culture that remains relevant, irrespective of external factors. By aligning core values and ensuring advisors resonate with the culture and value proposition, home offices can foster mutual understanding and drive sustained success, according to these firms.

At its core, culture comes down to activities that home office leaders prioritize on a daily basis, to ensure advisors feel secure amidst sudden changes. Chief Operating Officer of Stifel Independent Advisors Tim Boostrom says transparent communication is the key to a culture that works for all – with communication tailored to the preferences of individual advisors to foster a culture of trust and stability.

Drawing parallels to the personalized approach embraced by financial advisors in protecting clients during market volatility, in this Q&A with Wealth Solutions Report, Boostrom highlights the importance of building lasting relationships and cultivating open communication channels.

WSR: What aspects of bulletproofing a financial advisor’s business against unexpected change should home offices emulate?

Boostrom: While home offices lend critical support to financial advisors in challenging times, it is important that they also are prepared to deal with unexpected shifts in leadership and management. While all home offices must adapt to the next round of change that comes from without as well as within, having in place a business continuity plan can help ensure long-lasting relationships, irrespective of personnel changes or industry trends.

Having in place a business continuity plan can help ensure long-lasting relationships.

The continuity plan our home office has in place takes direct inspiration from the playbook of our financial advisors: A plan that ensures their clients are protected during periods of market volatility through ongoing communication and education that embraces a personalized approach. Similarly, a home office is well equipped to weather any storm when they have a long-term investment in relationships with advisors. Ideally, get to know every advisor by name, build rapport through frequent phone calls and e-mails, reassuring them and helping them stay on track as they grow their business.

WSR: What is the single most important day-to-day activity that home office leaders should consistently prioritize to ensure advisors feel secure in the face of sudden change when it happens?

Boostrom: This cannot be stressed enough – communicate. The good, the challenging, the fun, the difficult. Transparent communication is the key to a successful relationship. This can be done through firmwide e-mails, video conference calls, routine newsletters and other mass communications. It’s also critical to communicate directly with the advisors. A personal message, phone call, face-to-face meeting and handwritten note are all great examples.

Which of these approaches is best? Don’t guess. Ask your advisors when and how they want to be communicated with, and then simply provide it in the format and routine that works for them.

WSR: How can you ensure that you are creating a culture that remains relevant, regardless of factors beyond your control?

Boostrom: People often assume that others understand their perspective as well as they do, leading to pitfalls. From the initial contact between a prospective recruit and the home office, determining core values, then ensuring the advisor is aligned with the culture and value proposition you are creating, goes a long way in creating a culture of mutual understanding that remains relevant to all.

People often assume that others understand their perspective as well as they do, leading to pitfalls.

At Stifel Independent Advisors, we continue to place the highest priority on profoundly impacting our advisors’ lives by relentlessly caring about what they do and how they deliver for their clients. It is the “why” behind our work, because we believe the approach attracts and retains the right advisors and clients. In a similar vein, we’re always recommending to advisors that they should prioritize working with clients who they know are a solid long-term fit with their business versus people who duck and run at the first market volatility because they don’t feel any deeper bond with you.

The same principle should apply to home offices: Our advisors stay with us because we understand the most important aspects of their business, and we offer access to a truly bespoke service experience not found anywhere else.

WSR: Aligning operations, strategy and advisor support obviously involves managing multiple complex workstreams. What do you do to stay ahead of the curve while being able to perform across each of these functions effectively?

Boostrom: Stifel Independent Advisors benefits from the Stifel advantage – we are part of an internationally renowned investment banking and wealth management firm that has been in operation for more than 130 years. Our ability to offer advisors integrated access to industry-leading research and expert middle-market investment banking services enables us to provide another dimension of service to financial advisors as they seek to build on their success and growth.

We’ve built a strong bench of experts on transition and business development, standing ready to help advisors’ businesses get up to speed quickly while providing timely and proactive support. Through effective, highly targeted communication that lets advisors know they are never alone, we are there for advisors and their teams – from transition support to training to marketing and recruiting, as well as in-depth guidance for executing practice acquisitions and, eventually, succession planning.

Finally, we’re consistent in attracting the advisors we want to serve. If you genuinely enjoy the people you support, it won’t really feel like work.

Janeesa Hollingshead, Contributing Editor at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at editor@wealthsolutionsreport.com.

Total
0
Shares
Related Posts

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Sign Up for Our Newsletters