#16: Jobs That Used to be Done by Founders

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Why You Need To Stop Doing Everything In Your Business

“We’re all mad here.”

Naturally, this idea comes from Lewis Carroll’s Through The Looking Glass and What Alice Found There. One of Lewis’ famous characters, Hatter, otherwise dubbed as the Mad Hatter is known for his nonsensical banter, psychological oddities, and of course, his hats. 

But hats aren’t just reserved for 19th-century literature. Rather, in business today we talk a lot about hats as representations of the roles we assume in our day-to-day lives. A business owner, for example, might say that they wear many hats from client growth to marketing to service to speaking to operations and more. 

But too many hats isn’t always a good thing—think about Carroll’s Hatter after all. When a professional assumes too many responsibilities and in turn puts on too many hats, they aren’t able to provide the type and level of service they designed. 

Founders today wear too many hats. When you are trying to run your HR department, head client service relationship and management, run your own investment department, and more the hats will start to weigh you down. Today, we are going to look at a few ways to consolidate those hats to the most important and how to effectively manage that shift. 

The Case Of Too Many Hats

So many of the advisors we talk to are responsible for several tasks. Of course, they guide the client experience and manage that relationship but they are also in charge of marketing, building operations like copier leases, technology subscriptions, bills, and also recruiting, hiring, training, managing, and evaluating staff. Oh and let’s throw compliance into the mix as well—that’s a lot of hats. 

We often talk about what the leveraged ensemble structure allows us to do and we want to communicate how this structure can relieve partners from the never-ending litany of responsibilities. But one roadblock for advisors looking to join our firm is losing their personal assistant. 

For advisors who don’t operate under a leveraged ensemble, they feel they need one because they are assuming roles way outside the scope of their job. When we implement the ensemble approach effectively, advisors’ lives become much simpler. They can really focus on their clients’ plans and needs, as well as find time to prospect and find more of their ideal client households. 

It turns out that what most advisors really want is a resource without the responsibility that comes from sourcing, hiring, training, managing, evaluating, and compensating that person. We work really hard to provide all the business infrastructure or resources centrally so that advisors don’t need a personal assistant in the business.

Play To Your Strengths

People have certain strengths, and advisors’ strengths typically aren’t being HR professionals or marketing gurus. It’s a joy to be working in your areas of strength and letting other people work in their areas of strength.

But how do we relieve partners of those extra responsibilities? It isn’t really hard to figure out although it takes some work to make it happen. Our advisors’ responsibilities are to maintain relationships with the firm’s most valuable clients and to find more clients like them. 

Other client-related tasks are handled by other members of the wealth management team, and Katrina talked about that in episode 15. All the other responsibilities of running the business are done by people on other teams.

Teamwork Makes The Leveraged Ensemble Work

The next thing we would like to talk about today is the different teams that work together in a large ensemble practice. There are 5 different teams we will focus on today that help us operate CX Institutional. 

  1. Wealth Management 

This team is responsible for organic growth and client retention.

2. Corporate Development 

This team is responsible for inorganic growth through mergers and acquisitions.

3. Cooperative Integration

This team supports and enables all the other departments in the company. It includes technology, human resources, finance and accounting, talent development and training, and compliance. All of those roles collaborate with all the client-facing service and sales roles and facilitate an integrated firm where everyone is able to stay focused on their job.

4. Client Experience 

That team supports the clients with scheduling, moving money, account transfers, and all the other account-level details.

5. Investment Management 

This team manages the centralized investment management platform In addition to managing the money, that team also does a lot of behind-the-scenes work like weekly compliance audits to ensure that there are no drifts in the models, that cash is invested, and that minimum cash buffers are maintained. They also handle all billing.

The wealth management folks, as an example, can work from referrals of other advisors but they don’t have to design marketing, do due diligence, make outbound calls, guide advisors through a discovery process, and onboard whole practices at a time. All that’s handled by corporate development along with cooperative integration.

Let’s use the cooperative integration team as another example. If a team member needs to take an extended leave, they talk to HR and payroll to work out the details. They don’t need to talk to the advisor. HR and talent development ensure the opening is filled with a trained replacement. IT works to provide technology, so they can do their work in compliance, offers knowledge and support to follow all the rules. Finance and accounting make sure bills get paid on time, ensure the revenue comes in, and manage the budget. If an expense falls within the expense policy and there’s a budget available, it gets paid. If not, it doesn’t. There’s no arguing with your boss about it.

How To Embrace The Ensemble

Creating a high-functioning leveraged ensemble doesn’t happen overnight. This takes a lot of time and for advisors looking to join an established leveraged ensemble firm like CS, there is an adjustment period.

Most advisors are so used to doing everything, that they have trouble realizing and recognizing that other people can do the roles that they used to handle even better. That might be hard to hear for an advisor who is used to running the show and doing everything themselves, but the important thing here is to give it a chance. Eventually, you will look back and realize how many tasks you don’t have to do any longer.

Our firm is designed with an ensemble structure in mind. One of the main transitions that an advisor makes when they joined the firm is almost always going from an advisor-centric structure, where the assistant lives to make the life of the advisor a little bit easier to an ensemble structure where you don’t have one person supporting the advisor rather you have teams of people living in their areas of specialty supporting the advisors. 

When you embrace the power of the ensemble, you not only improve your own job satisfaction but you also provide a better (and more consistent) client experience. If you want to learn more about how the leveraged ensemble works, download our free white paper, The (Super) Power of a Leveraged Ensemble. Give it a try and see what you think!


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