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Own a wealth and asset management firm and want to secure success? Start here.

Jun 09, 2021

Do you believe the adage: When you stop growing, you start dying? That seems even more true today for entrepreneurs who launched their own wealth and asset management firm.

You stand in danger of losing the growth you’ve gained due to increasing pressures of customer competition, technology operations, compliance regulations, an unusual economy and tightening margins.

The reality is, the firms that only tread water won’t just not grow, they’ll also shrink as more aggressive firms capture their clients.

If you’re determined to survive and thrive in the next year, here are seven areas that owners need to focus on to be among the firms that are growing and gaining.

1. Create agile strategic plans

Strategic plans are useful but should never be so rigid that they can’t grow with your business. Digital transformation helped the five-year plan become the three-year plan. Then COVID-19 hit, and the three-year plan became the three-month plan. New challenges need new ideas, so iterative planning is critical in forward-thinking organizations that are expected to continually change. Wealth and asset management firms have to be flexible and take advantage of opportunities that present themselves.

2. Focus on revenue

To grow, you need to grow your revenue line faster than your cost base. To grow, you need to constantly look for new and better ways of generating revenue. Finding operational efficiencies can improve your margins — but not always enough to support long-term growth.

3. Invest in the right technology

The right tech can save you time and money by freeing up your employees to generate that new revenue you need to grow. Every second your asset managers are waiting for a slow system to complete a transaction costs you money. The right tech can also meet the increasing expectations of investors to have on-demand access and improved customer experiences. 

4. Empower your employees

If you’re going to focus on growing your business, you will need to provide key employees with an autonomous environment and empower them to make decisions that are consistent with your plans. Delegating to your team can generate a greater sense of ownership and accountability and also foster the entrepreneurial spirit — which can lead to more innovative ideas.

Letting go and delegating is hard — especially for entrepreneurs who built their firms by focusing on all those details and putting out all the fires. But to grow, you need to trust the team you put in place.

5. Celebrate the successes

The strongest entrepreneurs are the ones that spot problems and take action to solve them. But don’t forget to focus on what is working. Those successes can be replicated to help scale your firm.

6. Don’t belabor the failures 

Mistakes will happen — especially in an agile business growing and adapting to change. Rather than search for blame and assign failure, take an objective look at why something didn’t work and encourage everyone to learn from it. If your team is afraid to stretch out of fear of failure, they cannot be that dynamic team that will propel you to success.

7. Reward and recognize

A lack of recognition is one of the top reasons why people quit jobs. And each time you lose an asset manager, you risk losing clients — plus it costs you money to search, hire and onboard the right person. Reward and recognize your team when they’ve helped your business grow. Establish a measurable and visible award structure that empowers your managers and gives them increased accountability.

How Wipfli can help

Our team of experienced professionals understands the unique needs of your wealth and asset management firm at all stages of your firm’s lifecycle. From business, technology and people consulting to finance and accounting, our holistic solutions can help execute your growth vision.

Learn more about our wealth and asset management firm services or explore these additional educational resources:

Author(s)

Paul T. Lally
Principal
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