Profound Changes in the Wealth Advisory Business Require Firms to Embrace a New Approach to Building an Enduring Business

December 13, 2016

New book from BNY Mellon executives highlights false assumptions and details how firms can successfully overcome growing pains

December 13, 2016 – Jersey City, NJ - In the face of escalating regulation, increased commoditization, and fewer people entering the profession, the advisory business is undergoing many changes. BNY Mellon's Pershing Advisor Solutions chief executive officer, Mark Tibergien, and BNY Mellon's global head of segment and technology marketing, Kim Dellarocca, have co-authored a new book challenging commonly-held industry assumptions and put forth a strategy for building an enduring wealth advisory business.

The Enduring Advisory Firm: How to Serve Your Clients More Effectively and Operate More Efficiently (Wiley/Bloomberg Press, November 2016) takes a fresh look at the business of financial advice and arms advisors with insightful ideas to help them take their firms to the next level of operating excellence. The book provides a primer on the state of the advisory industry, offers a thorough overview of the diverse needs across demographic groups that are driving industry growth, and highlights industry best practices on how to effectively manage an enduring advisory firm. The book also guides firm leadership on how to create a vision and approach to keeping employees engaged and united by a common vision.

"Over the years, we have repeatedly seen advisory firms hit the same series of walls as they grow their firms, and this has been exacerbated in a rapidly changing industry," said Tibergien. "However, these challenges are eminently fixable if advisors ask the right questions and focus their attention on three critical areas that are often overlooked: attracting and retaining top talent, implementing cutting-edge technology that enhances operational efficiency, and putting into place profitable pricing structures that ensure the firm remains on solid footing."

Among the key growth topics the book addresses:

  • Advisors need to unlearn misconceptions about their industry. Common assertions about the advisory industry – that advisors are reducing their fees, that the industry is due to benefit from a huge generational transfer of wealth – are, in many cases, wrong and preventing firms from making necessary changes. To succeed, firms need to shift away from strategies rooted in these assumptions and recognize the real challenges to overcome, including margin compression and the industry's tarnished reputation.
  • Advisory firms should broaden their appeal to include younger generations of investors, including women. While mature and boomer clients are still drivers of growth, many firms risk alienating the next generations of clients by failing to meet their needs. The authors share insights on the needs and expectations of these groups to help firms shift their focus to include women and important demographic groups – from Generation X to Generation Z and beyond.
  • Leaders can do more than tackle the day-to-day challenges of managing a growing advisory firm—they need a vision for the future. Regardless of where firms are in their growth cycle, the authors provide prescriptive advice on how leaders can solve day-to-day challenges from dealing with bullies in the workplace to growing the business through acquisition. The authors also guide leaders on how to develop a vision for the future – one that translates owners' leadership into a firm's guiding principles.

"There's no doubt that there are mounting pressures facing financial advisors today, including margin compression, a dearth of talent, industry consolidation and new regulations," said Dellarocca. "However, along with tackling these day-to-day challenges, firm leaders can take a deliberate approach to embodying and communicating their core values to position themselves and their firms for lasting success."

In addition to providing RIAs with guidelines to help them succeed, the authors are also donating all profits from the book to the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning, whose mission is to promote diversity in the advisory profession.

The Enduring Advisory Firm is currently available on Amazon in both Kindle and Hardcover formats, and at local bookstores nationwide.

About the Authors

Mark Tibergien is CEO and managing director of BNY Mellon's Pershing Advisor Solutions. A regular columnist for Investment Advisor magazine, he is the author of Practice Made Perfect; How to Value, Buy, or Sell a Financial Advisory Practice; and Practice Made (More) Perfect.

Kim Dellarocca is Global Head of Segment Marketing and managing director at BNY Mellon. In addition to her global marketing leadership role, Kim directs one of the industry's most expansive thought leadership programs and has overseen the publishing of more than 125 studies and papers on the critical topics facing financial services firms today. Kim is invited to speak internationally and her views have been quoted more than 100 times in industry and mainstream publications, including The New York Times, Bloomberg, The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.

About BNY Mellon's Pershing

BNY Mellon’s Pershing and its affiliates provide advisors, broker-dealers, family offices, hedge fund and ’40 Act fund managers, registered investment advisor firms and wealth managers with a broad suite of global financial business solutions. Many of the world’s most sophisticated and successful financial services firms rely on Pershing for clearing and custody, investment and retirement solutions, technology, enterprise data management, trading services, prime brokerage and business consulting. Pershing helps clients improve profitability and drive growth, create capacity and efficiency, attract and retain talent, and manage risk and regulation. With a network of 23 offices worldwide, Pershing provides business-to-business solutions to clients representing more than 6 million investor accounts globally. Pershing LLC (member FINRA, NYSE, SIPC) is a BNY Mellon company. Additional information is available on pershing.com, or follow us on Twitter @Pershing.

About BNY Mellon

BNY Mellon is a global investments company dedicated to helping its clients manage and service their financial assets throughout the investment lifecycle. Whether providing financial services for institutions, corporations or individual investors, BNY Mellon delivers informed investment management and investment services in 35 countries and more than 100 markets. As of June 30, 2017, BNY Mellon had $31.1 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration, and $1.8 trillion in assets under management. BNY Mellon can act as a single point of contact for clients looking to create, trade, hold, manage, service, distribute or restructure investments. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK). Additional information is available on www.bnymellon.com. Follow us on Twitter @BNYMellon or visit our newsroom at www.bnymellon.com/newsroom for the latest company news.