It’s one thing to present your firm to prospects as a financial planner. It’s another, entirely, to present yourself and/or your brand as a trusted source. Since existing clients get antsier due to market volatility, now is definitely the time to reassure them that you and your team have the experience, credentials, and knowledge to weather any type of market condition that can arise.
This is where an OCIO may be able to help you build more credibility and trust with prospects as well as with clients: Outsourcing your investment research and/or management to the right CIO can mean bringing a genuinely experienced and accredited expert onto your team.
This article discusses the following:
- Aim to thrive (and not just survive)
- Differentiate Your Firm
- Communication Matters
- Leverage the competitive edge
Aim to Thrive (and Not Just Survive)
It isn’t news to anyone that we find ourselves in uncertain times. Inflation is higher than it’s been in decades, the geopolitical scene seems less stable than ever, and supply chain issues have disrupted most of the economy. Investors, in general, are craving stability when it comes to their money and are looking for credible financial planning and investment advice.
If their current advisory firm isn’t providing this level of service, there is a high likelihood they will start looking for another financial planning firm that can provide a higher level of service, stability, and trustworthiness. In times like these, is it very important for broker-dealers and RIAs to be providing their clients with savvy investment strategies that will allow them to thrive during volatility.
Your odds of providing a higher level of service and responsiveness in volatile markets can go up when you are working with a reputable OCIO. The outsourced chief investment officer can handle the day-to-day monitoring of the markets and your client accounts while you provide them with frequent communication to calm their fears. Your odds of losing clients may be quite a bit less using this strategy.
When you partner with an OCIO, you can list them on your meet-our-team or about-us page, if appropriate. They are as much of a resource for your firm as anyone you’d hire to work for you. Adding an outsourced CIO can bring an impressive array of certifications (including ongoing education credentials), alongside a solid performance record, to your team.
Differentiate Your Firm
Certainly, we can’t make guarantees any more than you can, but your odds of attracting high-net-worth clients might be increased by partnering with an OCIO. People with higher net worth are typically very particular about who they work with. This means that having OCIO-deepened credentials on your team can help boost your firm’s credibility and trustworthiness.
As an independent RIA, you may also consider optimizing your fees once an OCIO is a part of your asset management staff. At your discretion, they could meet with clients, as well—providing even more premium service which can separate your services from others in your area.
Independent broker-dealers can also benefit from our Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) compliance assistance. The right OCIO can optimize your record-keeping for due diligence. This, in turn, can help ensure that you provide best-in-class investment products for clients’ needs as well as investment committee meetings.
Keeping in touch is one of the most important components of the client-advisor relationship. Your client-facing staff should be able to confidently speak to clients with genuine credibility and knowledge. That’s why you should ask potential OCIO partners what their comfort level is in meeting with clients, either in person or via Zoom.
Any time an existing client (or lead) converses with, for example, an extensively experienced Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) on your behalf, it should become even clearer that your brand is well-informed, knowledgeable, and highly experienced in all-things investment related. Outsourcing to a CIO that is also an Accredited Portfolio Management Advisor (APMA®) and Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor (CMFC®) means even more expertise that you can demonstrate to prospects and clients.
Again, this one-two punch of additional prestige for your team page, matched with the clear understanding of a fiduciary OCIO with years of investment experience, could provide a reason to consider raising your required minimum assets. Premier-level service and insights do not come cheap (nor might the affluent be interested if they interpret modest rates as suggesting less-than-ideal quality).
Leverage the Competitive Edge
A third way to set yourself apart as a trusted financial planner is by providing results. The more value you deliver to your clients, harnessing the extra horsepower of an OCIO, the more confidence you are likely to feel about the future of your firm.
Building trust with clients, long-term, may eventually lead to acquiring testimonials from some, as well. These are all hypotheticals; not promises. Success, obviously, still depends upon you and your team giving 100% every workday. Nevertheless, adding an expert OCIO is a relatively simple way to potentially increase your odds of outshining your competitors.
Cornerstone Portfolio Research is comprised of a highly knowledgeable team of financial professionals who have been involved in providing OCIO services for many years. We take pride in providing the investment solutions and portfolio management that an RIA needs, freeing you up to nurture client retention. Rather than upending your investment strategy, we prefer to refine and enhance what you already have in motion.
This means working around your clients’ existing holdings so that you can continue to grow as a financial planner without disrupting existing relationships. Your investment program and risk management can be delegated to us, regardless of the financial markets’ state.
At the same time, we enjoy helping broker-dealers keep their record-keeping compliant using proven, reliable methodology to prevent headaches. The last thing you need is to worry about running afoul of the SEC or FINRA. That’s why we strive to keep you transparently in step with Reg BI (and easily verifiable as such). Contact us to get started.