Do Your Due Diligence
Why will the experience at a new firm be better for you and your clients?
Compare the software, hardware, and support. Ask to see a typical customer statement. What kind of technical support training does the new firm provide? How easy will it be to work from a remote location?
Determine whether you’ll have a say in the type of build-out or space provided for your size team? Platform mapping and product diversity: How well will your clients investments, your business mix, and your general business model align with the new platform?
How will the new firm help you in the first weeks/months to transition your business? What will your transition team consist of? What is the policy on reversing ACAT fees; client transfer fees?
What are their policies on compensation/bonuses/titles? Vacations/sick days/benefits? What are the production limits on Sales Assistants?
What are their insurance alliances? 401K alliances? Syndicate allocation? Discretionary trading platform and rules? Managed Accounts? GAM? Etc.
Compare your current resources to the new firm’s. What improvements do you offer? What access is there to senior research liaisons and strategists? Professional Designations: Does the new firm support continuing education, and pay for annual memberships (CFP, CIMA etc.)?
Get a copy of a contract for a private legal opinion. If the new firm is part of Protocol, ask to speak with their Protocol attorney to understand Protocol rules.
Insurance Coverage: Life Insurance? Health Insurance? How does the coverage compare, and how soon does it start?
How does the Payout schedule/Grid plan (including bonuses) compare to your existing plan? Across all products?
What kind of deferred compensation and retirement monetization plans are there?
What is the expense budget formula? Is there an expense budget for HNW clients? Firm sponsored appreciation events?
Does the firm cooperate on external coaching costs (if and when needed)?
What are the required production levels?
What will your business cards read?
Make an inventory list of all the personal belongings in your office; a handy guide when you actually make your move.