Work with Great Institutional Partners

It’s crucial that you and your team keep up with the constant pace of change in our industry

By Jonathan Powell

Key Takeaways:

  • Go beyond investments and start addressing your clients’ key advanced planning concerns.
  • Elite financial advisors’ advanced plans address wealth enhancement, wealth protection, wealth transfer and charitable giving.
  • Advanced planning efforts show the value you bring to clients’ entire financial lives.
  • Work with a network of specialists to deliver advanced planning services.

CEG Worldwide’s research reveals that financial advisors want support from their financial institutional partners in three main areas: marketing, practice management and technical assistance.

Why those three? Because they’re the areas that will enable financial advisors to build and maintain great wealth management businesses. That means you owe it to yourself, your clients and your business to get the help you require. You’ll do exactly that by working with financial institutions that are devoted to helping you become a true wealth manager and achieve huge results.

But how do you know if your current institutional partners possess that devotion? And how can you identify those firms that do offer what you need most?

We’ve found that the best firms out there have a few key qualities in common. When evaluating your current or potential institutional partners, look for these traits:

  • They provide leadership and clarity. Top firms recognize that the wounds from the market downturn still feel fresh to many investors. There’s so much ambiguity out there, and these firms know that financial advisors’ clients remain uncertain and are searching for people to help them make smart decisions about their money. Just as elite financial advisors are getting out in front of their clients more than ever, the top financial firms are acknowledging the realities of the current environment—and they’re stepping up. They’re also offering leadership to navigate this environment and they’re helping advisors strengthen their approach toward attracting and serving affluent investors.

  • They help deliver immediate wins. Top firms understand that any support they provide must generate some early “wins” that energize and motivate financial advisors. As a result, their support initiatives will be actionable, will directly apply to the practices of top advisors or will be presented by people who know the material well. This might sound obvious, but think of the programs you’ve attended in the past that failed to meet any of those standards. Make a point to work with firms that clearly present the best practices of other top financial advisors and offer actionable strategies and tactics that are relevant to your business.

  • They focus on long-term results. Top firms also realize that early wins are only valuable in the context of your larger success over time. After all, a small victory today that does nothing substantial to move your business forward isn’t very valuable. That’s why top firms have support initiatives that emphasize strong, sustainable results. They are set up to walk with you, side by side, as you implement wealth management, move upmarket to serve more affluent clients and initiate other key growth plans. Often they accomplish this through ongoing training, consulting and coaching.

  • They plan for your success. The support you receive from financial institutional partners needs to be part of an overarching plan. You want to see that a firm has made a true and well-considered promise to help you achieve your goal of building a great practice while serving your clients well. Top firms don’t “launch and leave”—they don’t have a few training sessions and end the relationship. They stick with you and offer a multiyear commitment to your financial success—just as you work with your clients on an ongoing basis over time to help them achieve their goals.


Take a good look at your current financial institutional partners and any others that you might be considering working with. Do they understand what it really means to be a true wealth manager who brings value to clients’ entire financial lives? Do they offer the tools, resources and support that you need in your business to help you achieve huge success? And do they demonstrate a commitment to helping you throughout your career?

About the Author

Jonathan Powell is a managing principal at CEG Worldwide, LLC in San Martin, California. Working with many of the nation’s top financial firms, he enjoys helping financial advisors transform their professional and personal lives by implementing CEG Worldwide’s research-backed principles.