DOL Client Conversations

Drew Hirschler


Drew Hirschler, Senior Practice Management Consultant, explores six steps advisors can take to prepare themselves for conversations with clients in light of the DOL Conflict of Interest Rule. Stay current with the DOL’s fiduciary regulation.

Video Transcript

The DOL Conflict of Interest Rule will fundamentally impact the way advisors communicate their service offering with many clients.

While there may be open issues around the rule, many advisors have asked us what they can do to prepare for meaningful conversations with their clients.

Advisors who are proactive in adjusting to the rule and look for creative ways to turn the regulation into a driver of growth can position themselves and their firms for long-term success.

It’s a good time to assess your business and review your service model. Ensure that you’re working not only in the best interests of your clients, but using processes that will sustain and grow your business.

We’d like to recommend six steps to prepare you for your client conversations.

First, familiarize yourself with your firm’s and operational framework. What are the tools and workflow you’ll use to process your retirement business under new guidelines?

Advisors will want to understand their role as fiduciaries and clarify their understanding of what has changed in their firm’s business and operational models. If a client asks you if you are a fiduciary, are you prepared to answer that question?

Review your retirement business to re-segment client accounts and refresh your service packages. Make sure you are focusing on the right clients.

You will want to showcase your value to clients, to remind them of the value you bring—today and every day! It’s time to review and refresh your unique value proposition and to use it with all your clients.

This is a good opportunity to re-discover client goals, dreams and their risk tolerance. Even more important, document this information so that you can position yourself and solutions appropriately.

Finally, think about any transitions that will occur. How will you position these changes to your clients? It will mean new paperwork, disclosures, changes in fees and changes in product offerings. It’s an opportunity to understand what those changes are and what those conversations look like.

There are three things you can do right now:

  • See Pershing’s website for a series of whitepapers and guides on the rule.
  • Stay close to your firm’s Legal and Compliance teams for important updates to your business and operational models.
  • Last, remember that advisors who are proactive with their clients will position themselves for future growth in this business.

Drew Hirschler

Andrew Hirschler is a Vice President for Pershing, a BNY Mellon company, and a member of Pershing’s Practice Management team. Andrew consults, coaches and trains financial advisors, bankers, sales leaders and executives. His goal is to inspire them to create efficiencies within their businesses and practices that allow them to grow, attract new clients and deliver a world-class client experience. He conducts workshops and does individual coaching, incorporating best practices and current industry trends.