Everyone has days when they aren’t motivated to work or don’t like their firm. That’s not necessarily a sign that you’ve outgrown your firm. It could be a simple human reaction to being overtired, overworked, or just in need of a mental health break. String a few of those days together, though, and it may be time to make a change. Should you start looking for a new firm? Obviously, no one else can make that choice for you, but we’ve put together a list of warning signs that might indicate you’ve outgrown your current firm.

At Bridgemark Strategies, we are leading financial advisor recruiters and consultants serving Financial Advisors, RIAs, and Broker/Dealers nationwide. If you’re considering a transition, we can leverage our vast network and experience to help you discover and vet new firms so you can make the best choice for your needs. Contact Us

9 Warning Signs that You’ve Outgrown Your Firm

The following list is what we have found to be the most common reasons that advisors leave their wealth management firm. If one of these matches your situation, it could be a sign that your time with your current employer is coming to an end:

  1. Culture is No Longer a Fit: Advisors and firms often grow in different directions. The shift could cause a change that stresses the relationship between the advisor and the firm. When the shift happens, recognize it, it may be time to move on.
  2. Compliance Issues: With regulations changing frequently, there may come a time when you feel the firm is either not doing a good job keeping their advisors compliant—or worse, are creating standards to manage to the lowest common denominator of advisors. This situation might be a catalyst to start searching for other options.
  3. Low Payout: This is a natural progression for advisors. There comes a time in everyone’s career when the payout being paid by the firm or broker dealer or RIA are simply not high enough. Reps often choose to go independent or to a firm that offers a more competitive payout.
  4. Outdated Technology: Too often, advisors don’t even know their technology is outdated. Are you creating your own manual processes because the technology isn’t efficient, or are you making up excuses to clients about outdated technology? Maybe it’s time to find a technology forward firm.
  5. Lack of Support: There are few things more frustrating than having a support department that doesn’t support you. When you find yourself losing clients or making excuses to clients because of company inaction, start looking for another firm that will better support you.
  6. Insufficient Training: Expectations should go both ways. The company expects you to perform at a certain level but doesn’t give you the training you need to meet those expectations. That’s a clear warning sign that you’re in the wrong place.
  7. Owner Behaviors: The owner of the firm sets the tone for everyone else who works there. When the owner’s behaviors are erratic or inconsistent, the employees suffer. It’s stressful if you don’t know what to expect each day when you come to work.
  8. Work/Life Balance is Off: Everyone wants to make money—but at what cost? Spending all of your time in the office and neglecting other aspects of your life is not a recipe for a fulfilling career. Find a place to work where work/life balance is a priority, not an afterthought.
  9. Boredom: Do you just need a change of scenery? Coming to the office, the same old habits can sometimes become such a strain, it’s time to make a change. A fresh start often isn’t just refreshing but can slingshot your business and your assets, making a move more successful than could have been imagined.

These are the warning signs, but whatever the reason to move, there are proper ways to research and prepare. The next section offers some simplified suggestions on how to do that.

The Proper Way to Exit Your Current Position

Financial advisors are faced with several challenges when they choose to move on. There’s a right way to do it and a wrong way. Remember that your reputation is one of your most important assets, so you’ll want to do it the right way. That starts with discretion.

Finding a new firm is hard if you must put yourself out there while still working. It’s best to work with a financial advisor recruiting and consulting service to help you do the search. Have them put out some feelers to see what’s out there and then schedule some confidential interviews to discuss options.

When it comes time to leave, follow all industry and compliance guidelines when moving your book of business. If you are with a broker dealer and going independent, there may be contracts in place that prevent you from taking clients with you. It’s important that you adhere to those guidelines.

While in transition mode, do not contact existing clients to tell them you’re leaving. That could get you into legal trouble. Review the Broker Protocol for additional guidelines and contact Bridgemark Strategies for assistance. Our team is here to help in your journey.