Transition myths debunked


Transition myths debunked

Uncover these six common misperceptions advisors have about transitioning their practice.

If you share any of these concerns, you may want to use them as conversation starters with potential employers and/or business partners during the due diligence phase of your transition. In addition, you may want to discuss any concerns you may have with advisors who have made successful career transitions.

MYTH: My clients won't follow me to my new firm/practice.


  • Having solid, long-term client relationships matter.
  • Get your clients to articulate the value of the service you provide to them.
  • Doing so means chances are good that most of them will move with you when you move to a new firm or business model.
  • However, a few clients may choose to stay with your old firm.
  • Their reasons for not following you may be completely unrelated to the strength of your client-advisor relationship.

MYTH: Moving my clients' assets to my new firm is the most important part of a transition.


  • Taking assets with you is important, but it's only part of what's required for a successful transition.
  • A successful transition has three additional components:

1) You, as the advisor, need to be happy in your new environment.

2) Your business partners and support staff need to share your vision for the business and feel that they have the support and resources they need to do their jobs well.

3) Your clients need to be satisfied with the level of service and support they receive, and they need to feel that their needs are your top priority.

  • By focusing on all of the components of a successful transition, you're more likely to have a positive transition experience.

MYTH: My transition team will do everything for me.


  • Your transition team will be an invaluable resource during your transition, but even the best teams can't do everything for you.
  • Successful transitions require a lot of hard work, which begins with you.
  • Your role is to make sure that you understand every aspect of the transition.
  • Clearly define roles and responsibilities for you, your business partners, your support staff and your transition team.
  • You have the ultimate responsibility for ensuring a successful transition.
  • Even with a high level of support from an experienced transition team, you should probably expect to work long days and weekends for several months leading up to your transition.

MYTH: I can leave all the administrative details of opening new accounts to my support staff, as well as all responsibility for understanding the operational standards of my new firm.


  • Any support staff or administrative personnel you bring with you to your new firm will play an invaluable role in opening new accounts.
  • They will be crucial to building a strong foundation for your new practice.
  • You should also understand as much of the administrative process as you can when it comes to opening new accounts and managing your general day-to-day operations.

MYTH: I should only consider joining firms that participate in the Protocol.


  • The Protocol provides a useful framework for helping advisors execute career transitions, but it isn't necessary to join a Protocol firm.
  • What is important is to thoroughly understand the legal ramifications associated with resigning from your current employer and joining a new one.
  • This is true regardless of whether either or both are Protocol members.
  • Most advisors will benefit from legal advice from an independent, third-party source prior to making a career transition.
  • Your legal advisor can offer insights into how to best create a career transition that suits your personal needs and honors any existing employment contracts you may currently have.

MYTH: Most firms offer similar transition services.


  • Transition services can vary widely among different firms, so it's important to have a clear understanding of what you can expect from your new firm's transition team.
  • Ask whether your transition team is dedicated full time to helping you make your transition, or whether they have other responsibilities that are not related to your practice.
  • For example, at many of the large wirehouses, your transition assistant may be someone else's administrator who is temporarily pulled in to help you out, while still trying to handle his or her primary responsibilities on the side.
  • At Raymond James, we have a full-time, dedicated team of 40 professionals whose primary responsibility is helping advisors make successful transitions. 

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