Know What To Research

Do Your Due Diligence
Why will the experience at a new firm be better for you and your clients?

Technology:
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?

Office Space:
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?

Transition Management:
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?

Sales Assistants:
What are their policies on compensation/bonuses/titles? Vacations/sick days/benefits? What are the production limits on Sales Assistants?

Product Access:
What are their insurance alliances? 401K alliances? Syndicate allocation? Discretionary trading platform and rules? Managed Accounts? GAM? Etc.

Research:
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.)?

Legal:
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?

Compensation:
How does the Payout schedule/Grid plan (including bonuses) compare to your existing plan? Across all products?

Retirement:
What kind of deferred compensation and retirement monetization plans are there?

Expenses:
What is the expense budget formula? Is there an expense budget for HNW clients? Firm sponsored appreciation events?

Coaching:
Does the firm cooperate on external coaching costs (if and when needed)?

Recognition Trips:
What are the required production levels?

Titles:
What will your business cards read?

Personals:
Make an inventory list of all the personal belongings in your office; a handy guide when you actually make your move.

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