Advising the Advisors

Financial advisors spend their professional lives helping others prepare to retire.

That’s not exactly a news flash, and yet its flip side – the question of who helps them get ready for when it’s time to hang up their own working days – remains a somewhat untold story of the financial services industry.

Enter Garrett Taylor, founder and CEO of Advisor Successions based in Port Jefferson, NY, whose professional focus is to assist financial advisors in making successful transitions to their own retirements.

“Coming to terms emotionally with the idea of actually retiring, the process of making that move is often the hardest part for financial advisors,” Taylor said. He notes the deep personal relationships successful advisors develop with their clients. That interaction in itself is a difficult thing to let go of, let alone the moral and psychological burden many advisors feel about ensuring proper future care for their current clients. “At the end of the day, being an advisor is all about managing relationships and so in some cases, it is very easy from an emotional standpoint for an advisor to continue in the business into their late 70s and 80s.”

But then, are they cheating themselves out of what they’ve worked so hard to help their clients achieve? That is, a retirement lifestyle in which the aspirations and dreams that working life could not accommodate can now become a daily reality.

He knows that every financial advisor adds his or her own personal twist to running their practices, and he knows that clients have become accustomed to that particular style. Thus, when helping a seller find a buyer, matching styles and investing philosophy is critical. Taylor knows a deal could go up in smoke if a seller isn’t completely satisfied in terms of how his or her clients will be cared for long after the ink on the contract has dried.

This is part of why his firm offers “geographic exclusivity” for the buyers it works with. Advisor Successions works only with one broker-dealer and one firm from the fee-based side of the industry within each specified geographic area.

Taylor knows that his selling clients do not want the details of their business bandied about to a large number of potential buyers, and for that reason he vets potential buyers before even mentioning any possible deals.

Vetting is a process he learned with Ameriprise Financial before hanging out his own shingle. Taylor worked with several teams there developing processes to guide acquisitions and found the work incredibly rewarding and professionally exciting.
Financial

“There is nothing better than connecting a buyer with a seller and doubling someone’s practice in one transaction,” Taylor said. “Then, at the end of rainbow, knowing that we have helped a seller realize the full potential and value of a practice, and allowed them to retire knowing that they did the right thing by their clients, is also extremely rewarding.”

Learn more about Advisor Successions online at www.advisorsuccessions.com.

Scott Brittman