By Jodie Douglas from Mad about Life Risk Advice
Earlier this year we discovered it was time to find a new partner for our Advice Practice, we needed a partner who aligned with our values and who were well equipped & excited to support us on our journey to shape the future of financial advice.
It was when we actually sat down and made a list of what that Partner would need to offer that it became very clear what was most important to us when choosing our dream licensee.
The Wish List
We made a list of about 20 items and then categorised them into "Must Have", Should Have" and "Would Like to Have's". This wish list (shown below) was really quite powerful as it clearly articulated what we were looking for before we started the "Partner Seeking Process".
- Support our own software
- Be well Established and stable.
- Forward Thinking - with a strong focus on offering, encouraging and supporting multiple service based Advice businesses. Ie. Risk, Super, Investment, Estate Planning, Cash flow, Mortgages and so on.
- Independent - Not aligned.
- Client value focused not volume or product focused. (success should be based on client outcomes not volume of product/premium/FUM etc)
- Client Centric - with an aim to always prioritise & improve our clients experience.
- Transparent, good communicators and great leaders.
- Open APL
- Encourage Authenticity and Help us to set, achieve & exceed our business growth goals.
- Strong compliance culture with a focus on clients best interest.
- Value & respect our business partnership.
- Brisbane based or at least have a QLD based team.
- Fixed Fee's which are structured competitively and support our growth as we attract more AR's.
- Education focused - Provide assistance with achieving education requirements.
WOULD LIKE TO HAVE/BE:
- Weekly or Fortnightly commission run.
Tapping Into Your Industry Network
It was at this stage, after creating our wish list that we knew we couldn't make this big change on our own, so we then tapped into our network of trusted industry colleagues. I made contact with those people I highly respected in the industry who knew our Practice and our journey so far to share with them our decision to find a new partner. We shared our list with them and asked for their suggestions as to which Licensee's they thought should definitely make it onto our shortlist - before long (Within a few days) we had a short list of direct contacts within 3-4 highly respected Licensee groups to send our list to and meet with to interview.
After sharing our list with & speaking to each Licensee's direct contact and doing our due diligence we very quickly found our new home with Madison Financial Group, a licensee who appreciated & respected our very clearly articulated wish list, aligned with our values and who were grateful for the opportunity to have our Practice join them in providing great advice to clients.
Changing Licensee's and choosing the right Partner for our business has been one of the most important decisions we've made to date and we are so pleased we made that wish list and contacted our trusted industry network to help us make the right decision.