What Does Your Brand Tell Recruits About Your RIA Firm?

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If you want to attract top advisors to your firm or merge with another RIA firm, you’ve got to have a strong brand. RIAs with a definitive brand will be more successful in achieving their recruitment goals.

How Do I Establish a Strong Brand?

You want both the general public and other advisors to instantly understand what you do, who you help, and how you help. This means you need to develop a brand voice that is carried throughout your marketing mix and client touchpoints – your website, client portals, print and digital collateral, email, advertising, PR and social media channels.

You want each client experience with your firm to have a similar look and feel so that people begin to recognize your brand no matter how they interact with you.

But your brand goes beyond what people easily see. A strong brand also includes your company culture, tried and tested company processes, and technology that allows the firm to continue to grow effectively and efficiently.

Why is Having a Strong Brand Important?

When an advisor is considering joining a firm, one of the top factors will be how easily he or she can build a book of business. Working at a firm with a consistent, professional brand is a great start. However, there’s more a recruit will consider.

Remember how technology and internal processes play a role in building a strong brand experience? That’s because these two areas also help an advisor build a book of business. Does your firm have software in place that allows advisors to easily manage their interactions and relationships with their clients? What tools do you use to manage customer portfolios? Are they user-friendly and helpful, or are they time-consuming and frustrating to use?

Recruits will want to know how your firm can serve as a platform for building their book of business.

Potential new hires will look at your company’s infrastructure and processes. If you have a technology system or support staff in place that saves the advisor from performing administrative tasks, this will make your firm a more attractive place to build a book of business.

A Strong Brand Makes Your Firm More Attractive for M&A

But don’t think that a strong brand is only important when trying to bring on a new advisor.

The M&A market for RIA firms is hot right now, experiencing six straight years of record growth, according to Echelon Partners. And some industry experts expect the M&A market for RIAs to continue to be strong for the foreseeable future. This is due in part to the rising age of RIAs and wealth advisors.

Ernst & Young found the average age of a financial advisor is 50 years old – and that number continues to rise every year. RIAs in their 60s or older who own their own firm may be looking for a merger or acquisition deal so that they can retire without the stress of winding down their practice.

For firms looking to merge with another RIA firm, a strong brand that can scale for growth will make them more desirable to potential merger partners. Consider documenting your brand voice with guidance materials to help your brand scale faster.

If you have questions about how to create a brand for your RIA firm, contact us.

Jennifer Nelson