A new survey reveals that financial advisors are none too pleased with the current financial advisor technology software available. OnWallStreet.com reports that Tiburon Strategic Advisors discovered that in some cases, financial advisors find the software available “downright unsatisfactory,” the publication says.

Chip Roame, who is the firm’s managing partner, told OnWallStreet that there are three main issues that advisors have with the software, as reflected in Tiburon’s report, Financial Advisor Technology: Leading Edge Financial Advisors Technology Strategies. The first issue is that “financial planning technology often is not integrated with one’s’ portfolio management system, which requires data to be re-keyed.” He suggested that the software instead have “better integration.”

The second issue is that the software doesn’t reflect the different types of planning that advisors do, with some involved with “comprehensive planning,” the article says, while others do “modular planning.” Roame says that “systems written one way or the other under-serve some financial advisors.”

The final issue is that some of the software is really investment planning or insurance sales tools, instead of working comprehensively. Roame said that “this can and should be solved.”

Written by Lisa Swan

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Big change is coming to Raymond James, especially after its merger with Morgan Keegan, OnWallStreet.com says. Recruiters are still weighing in on what it all means.

“The merger will work unless they woefully underpay on a retention package,” Mickey Wasserman of Michael Wasserman and Associates told OnWallStreet.com. “Everybody’s taking a wait and see attitude right now, and I believe that there’s a bit of relief that a private equity firm did not come into play. I think that this is a good marriage.”

Charles “Chip” Roame of Tiburon Strategic Advisors argues that picking up Morgan Keegan “is a great buy for Raymond James, albeit at a steep price.” He said that “while Raymond James will absorb much of the Morgan Keegan managerial infrastructure, complicated organizational structures like this have a way of clearing themselves up a year later as some people retire, move to companies, etc.”

“They’re not playing in the same ballpark as the wirehouses, but it’s a ball park that they want to be in, Manhattan recruiter Rich Schwarzkopf told OnWallStreet.com. “They’ve found their niche in small towns,” he notes, “in a way more like an Edward Jones.”

There is still a lot to do before the two companies fit together. Tash Elwyn, an executive with Raymond James, told OnWallStreet.com that “there’s going to be a lot of heavy lifting for many months to come.”

Written by Lisa Swan

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Financial advisors give their clients advice all the time on succession planning. But what happens when they are the ones who need to do the succession planning, for their own businesses?  RegisteredRep.com takes a look at one person in that situation.

Jon Ten Haagen, 68, of Huntington, New York, has $35 million in assets for his small company. He said he has tried to bring in junior financial advisors to his business, but it just has not worked out so far. He is not ready to retire, but he says he knows he needs to think about the next step. The financial advisor has a book, and makes regular appearances on local TV, and would like to find a way to capitalize on that, and to make his business more attractive to future buyers.

RegisteredRep.com talked with three advisors about Ten Haagen’s situation. Chip Roame of Tiburon Strategic Advisors says: “I think this advisor needs to understand what he’s up against. Solo practitioners, especially those with a pretty small practice, generally find it challenging to add people and do succession planning.” Roame suggests better marketing on his TV appearances — listing and saying his phone number right away – and to bring in another advisor on salary or a cut of the revenue, not on commission.

Philip Palaveev of Fusion Advisor Network, which is based in Elmsford, N.Y., says that the Long Island-based financial advisor ought to consider a different approach to bringing in a younger advisor. “I know of at least two or three practices in his area with guys in their 30s and 40s who would love to explore a partnership with him,” Palaveev tells RegisteredRep.com. “He would maintain his independent practice, use their administrative support, and when the time is right to retire, they would back him up.”

And Hellen Davis of Indaba Training Specialists suggested that Ten Haagen “go to a firm with some advisors in their 40s, people who are 15 years or so younger than he is. Then he’d tell them he just wants an office there, with a view to possibly transitioning his clients in five to seven years. That means going with younger financial planners already running a practice, instead of people with little experience.” She thinks that Ten Haagen’s TV appearances will make him even more marketable.

Written by Lisa Swan

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