Wealth management firms are facing an incredible opportunity. But are the next generation of advisors up to the task?

According to Barron’s, “Much has been made of the great wealth transfer and the opportunity for advisors to manage some of the estimated $70 trillion that will pass from boomers to the next generation over the next 20 years.”

For the next-generation advisors who are in line to inherit a book of business from a senior advisor, the goal is to build and shape the legacy that will be left to them and to do so in a way that feels authentic, value-driven, and entirely their own.

Here are 5 common concerns next-gen advisors often have and some solutions.

  1. Feeling Like an Outsider When Joining an Established Firm

The wealth management industry is notorious for being insular. Next-gen advisors joining an established firm may feel they need to prove themselves more than their peers from within the same network. The best way to combat this feeling is by being prepared and knowledgeable about your new firm’s policies, procedures, products, etc. before Day 1. Also, seek out mentors inside and outside your firm who can help guide you through this transition.

  1. Not wanting to be like your predecessors.

This is a valid concern—no one wants to be a clone of someone else. Finding your niche or specialty within the wealth management space is key. What can you offer that other advisors can’t? What are your unique strengths? Once you identify those things, lean into them and use them to help you stand out from the crowd.

  1. Not wanting to lose clients when the predecessor retires.

According to Brandon Kawal of Advisor Growth Strategies, “as RIA leaders look to pass the baton to their successors, the best will start with an emphasis on the key team members who can maximize their options with next-gen clients and create winning outcomes.”

Planning for this transition is key.

First, start having conversations with your clients about succession planning now—don’t wait until your predecessor retires before you broach the subject. Second, ensure you have a solid understanding of your client’s financial goals and objectives to provide continuity of service when the time comes. And third, stay in touch with your clients on a regular basis so that they always know you’re there for them—no matter what changes might be happening behind the scenes.

  1. Too much involvement from predecessor (or not involved enough).

There needs to be a delicate balance here—too much involvement from your predecessor and you run the risk of feeling like you’re not really running the show; too little involvement and you could find yourself floundering without guidance or support. The key is to set up clear expectations from the outset so that both parties know what role each will play in the future. If possible, put it in writing so that everyone is on the same page from day one.

  1. Worried about people thinking they got there because of family name or connections?

This is understandable—no one wants people to think they got a leg up because of who they know rather than what they know or how hard they worked.

The best way to combat this perception is by continuing your education and professional development even after you take over as primary advisor on a book of business. Stay current on industry trends and changes; develop new skills; earn additional certifications; attend conferences; read industry publications; network with other professionals—whatever it takes to show that you are serious about your career and dedicated to providing top-notch service to your clients.

Conclusion:

Inheriting a book of business from a senior advisor can be both exciting and daunting for next-gen advisors who want to make their mark in the wealth management industry without losing sight of their goals or sacrificing their personal values along the way. By being aware of the potential challenges and taking proactive steps to overcome them, next-gen advisors can set themselves up for success as they build their careers and legacies within their firms.

Avior Executive Search is a professional recruiting firm specializing in the wealth management industry globally. We have built a proud reputation based on our search process and market knowledge and have an unmatched network with extensive search experience in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East global wealth management industry. Contact us to learn more about how Avior Executive Search can help you.

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