Tree grows in cold and hot atmosphere.
Designed Wealth Management partners Gillian Kunza and Michael Konopaski describe how to think about planning a transition to another dealer in the context of the spring season.


In the last 12 months, what have you heard or read that is truly refreshing? Or that made you think differently about your practice? Too many articles out there are missing the point of what’s really driving advisors to change. Having recently talked to advisors at almost every dealer in Canada – it’s become clear. Investment and mutual fund dealers are not doing very much about their advisors’ pain points. Our market research reveals that the main reasons advisors leave their dealers is that they aren’t allowed to customize, their feedback is met with resistance, and there is no way to drive needed change to stay competitive. Further, while dealers claim they are “client-centric”, the voices of those who know their clients best, are not thoroughly taken into consideration. The decisions needed to provide that client-centric focus have been overrun by corporate priorities. “I’d like to be able to make decisions instead of always simply making proposals,” as summarized in a recent conversation with a prospective advisor.

This is the second article in a 4-Part series representing a metaphorical Changing of Seasons for an advisor’s practice. We will introduce insights that challenge the status quo in the investment industry and create a unique perspective relevant to the decisions an advisor faces when reviewing their practice. Further to our first article that explored Winter, join us now, as we explore Spring, the “reinvention season” of an advisor or portfolio manager’s career.  

Spring is a time for revival and reinvention. In the spring, everything comes to life again. It is time for growth and expansion of new ideas. It’s a time to rekindle the excitement about your practice and consider “what do I need to clean up and throw out?” Reinvention is about self-reflection and discovery. It’s about turning over a new leaf and the thought of building something unique. It’s important to consider the difference between adaptation and reinvention. An example of adaptation might be lowering your fees or introducing a new product to clients. Reinvention is a new way of running your practice.

If one of your clients asks you “what can you do that your competitors can’t?”, you should have a great answer. How would you answer that question today if someone asked you? Our goal at Designed Wealth Management is to support advisors and portfolio managers, to answer that question with confidence. Because we work with advisors regardless of regulatory channel, we don’t have any agenda driving us to fit advisors into a specific business model. In the spirit of Spring and reinvention, the conversations we have with advisors visit topics such as practice management and evolution. If you are thinking about a change, you might start by considering 1. What was, 2. What is, 3. What should be, and 4. What could be for your practice? We can help you through this process with our modern delivery of wealth management approach.

Reinventing your practice may involve collaborating with your staff and partners. If you have employees, they need to believe in you and they need to believe in the required changes.  As an advisor, you can provide a favourable context, but your staff have to be “on the bus”. One way to improve results is to include everyone in the decision-making process. Not only do we encourage that collaboration within an advisor’s practice, we also exercise it regularly with our partners.

Our main partner is our carrying broker and custodial partner Aviso Correspondence Partners (Aviso). Carrying brokers and custodians have the single most significant impact on an advisor’s practice. Simply put, when something goes wrong, advisors need to reach decision makers and get results fast. Having dealt with multiple carrying brokers over the years, the high level of engagement from Aviso has been a tremendous asset. Their commitment to modernizing their service delivery, their technology and their overall support as a partner allows us to work with advisors in a flexible and customized way.   If advisors have to settle for lip service from their dealer, and their carrying broker is immovable, there is no opportunity to develop. Further, if the carrying broker has too many clients, or one single client that requires most of their time and energy, now might be the time to reflect on how much your dealer’s priorities will change to benefit you in the next 12 months.

Aviso Correspondent Partners (ACP) is part of Aviso Wealth, Aviso Wealth currently administers and manages approximately $100 billion in assets. Today, ACP services over 80 portfolio management and investment dealers across Canada. Their commitment to innovation helps make a transition a seamless experience. Designed Wealth Management continues to seek out advisors and portfolio managers from all regulatory channels. We are positioned to have great conversations that will help advisors see their options and realize worthwhile reinvention. Our partners, like Aviso and others, believe in what we are doing and provide tremendous support in an advisor’s transition. With Spring on the horizon, we continue to hear ideas and build on our modern wealth management platform.