Advisor Roles – Creating a Balanced Team
The role of a financial advisor can be diverse, especially as their team and practice grow. The industry attracts many types of people, and each will naturally gravitate toward different aspects of the financial advisory profession. Practice leaders can leverage these natural tendencies to build a balanced team where advisors can use their predilections and skills to serve a specific role in the practice.
The Three Types of Advisors
According to David Maister, author of “Managing the Professional Service Firm,” advisors can be broken into three categories: finders, minders, and grinders. Finders are the business development professionals who are great at finding new prospects and building referral relationships with Centers of Influence. Advisors who fit the Finder category tend to be more outgoing and enjoy the networking and lead building aspects of the business.
Minders are those advisors who are great at maintaining client relationships. They’re committed to others and are very conscientious in their dealings with both clients and staff. They thrive on bringing together the team and in nurturing the client relationship, including building relationships with client’s heirs.
Grinders are the behind-the-scenes advisors. They are task masters and number crunchers who love grinding out financial plans and tackling the technical aspects of advising. They ensure that the services are being delivered and that the client’s financial goals are met. They provide the Minder with the information and tools they need to run client meetings and to identify opportunities for expanding the client relationship.
In most cases, a financial advisor will naturally gravitate toward one of these roles, especially as the practice gets bigger. Practice leaders can use these roles to their advantage by having certain advisors focus on bringing in new business while other advisors maintain and grow existing relationships and services. This lets each advisor thrive as a professional and keeps them from trying to juggle too many things. Clients also enjoy and benefit from a team approach. Because advisors are being put to their best and highest use, a client’s needs are always met. Clients also feel secure knowing that management of their finances won’t be impacted if a single advisor leaves.
Many advisors already know what they do best and where they fit. It’s generally just a matter of having a conversation with your advisors and reorganizing the team to ensure everyone is in the right role. Clearly defining the different roles and responsibilities and everyone’s part in the process ensures that the practice and the client relationship run smoothly. If you find that you are missing a certain type of advisor, say a “finder” to help bring in new business, this can help guide your recruiting efforts so you can fill the need on the team and not end up with a concentration of one type of advisor or lack of another type.