Ready to Retire – But Without a Successor

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

I’ve been in the investment advisory business for a long time. I’ve been through a number of significant market ups and downs and have always managed to work with my clients in a way that shows them what I am doing, gives them confidence and helps them approach any changes with calm.

Lately, with the 2016 and 2018 elections, combined with the erratic movements in the market, my clients are much less at ease and don’t have a problem letting me know. I’m being asked about everything from our position on climate change when we invest, to my political beliefs and that of my colleagues.

I don’t mind having conversations with clients. We can agree to disagree. But I’m finding the tenor of these discussions lately to be caustic in nature. I’m starting to think it is time for me to retire (I’m 64-years old) because these conversations and the pushback is exhausting.

How can I find a successor to work with my clients and take my business over as I move out? I have a team of 11, but there is no one who is prepared to be my successor. I’m not sure where to start or what to do.