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HomeWealth ManagementA High Commonwealth Advisor on Driving Productiveness

A High Commonwealth Advisor on Driving Productiveness

Photo Kerri Sullivan-Kreiss

Kerri Sullivan-Kreiss, CFP®, AIF®, with Commonwealth since 2004

Kerri Sullivan-Kreiss, CFP®, AIF®, based her impartial advisory agency, SullivanKreiss Monetary, in 2004. Having spent the earlier 13 years as an advisor on workers with a publicly traded firm, she needed to depart massive company agendas and proprietary funding merchandise behind. As president of her personal enterprise, Sullivan-Kreiss was desperate to develop a concierge service mannequin constructed round a powerful tradition of fiduciary accountability to purchasers.

As Sullivan-Kreiss says, “I’ve at all times primarily based my enterprise on the elemental principal of treating others as I want to be handled. My goal is basically quite simple: to place our purchasers’ pursuits first, act with integrity, and embrace the individuality that every consumer brings to our follow.”

Throughout our conversations, the drive of Sullivan-Kreiss’s dedication to this imaginative and prescient at all times shined by. The profitable development of her agency might be seen as emblematic of the depth with which Sullivan-Kreiss engages with purchasers. It additionally highlights her extremely environment friendly use of time. To supply the customized concierge service that Sullivan-Kreiss believes makes her agency particular, she has grow to be a grasp of time administration. She has discovered how one can function effectively and collect the mandatory assets to maintain development and construct economies of scale.

In case you’re seeking to go impartial or develop a longtime advisory enterprise, understanding the facility of Sullivan-Kreiss’s enterprise decisions may enable you chart the best way towards optimizing your time and setting your agency up for long-term development.

Constructing One thing Particular

For Sullivan-Kreiss, constructing consumer relationships is all about specializing in the journey with every particular person you serve. In an effort to develop a high quality follow, you need to make every consumer really feel particular. Which will sound elementary, nevertheless it’s necessary to maintain high of thoughts. As she says, “It’s being there for purchasers by on a regular basis moments, celebrating life’s main milestones, and serving to to supply assist, encouragement, and, hopefully, consolation throughout troublesome instances.”

A proactive service mannequin. Ideally, SullivanKreiss Monetary purchasers shouldn’t get voicemail once they name, and follow-up to requests and considerations have to be speedy and correct. However concierge service is greater than that: it’s being proactive versus responsive, going above and past what’s anticipated. Sullivan-Kreiss focuses on long-term, complete monetary planning; she isn’t occupied with “merely being a cash supervisor.” This implies setting common critiques to maintain abreast of modifications in purchasers’ lives and assembly each two weeks when creating a plan for a brand new consumer.

The consequence? Sullivan-Kreiss has constructed one thing particular: a extremely engaged neighborhood of long-term purchasers. For her, that’s what makes the advisory enterprise rewarding and enjoyable. And there’s icing on the cake: in line with Sullivan-Kreiss, “Nearly all of my agency’s new purchasers come from referrals from present purchasers.”

Spending Extra Time with Shoppers

33 percent data point

As you’ll be able to see, Sullivan-Kreiss’s enterprise mannequin is immediately tied to her spending as a lot time as doable with purchasers. Notably, like lots of her Commonwealth friends, Sullivan-Kreiss spends considerably extra time in consumer conferences than different business advisors. That’s in line with a 2020–2021 examine carried out by Commonwealth in partnership with Cerulli Associates, which discovered that, on common, Commonwealth advisors spend 33 % extra time in consumer conferences than different advisors from each wirehouse and impartial corporations.

The truth is, primarily based on additional evaluation of the info, Commonwealth’s Apply Administration workforce decided that Sullivan-Kreiss ranked within the high decile of productiveness amongst Commonwealth advisors, primarily based on gross income, development charge, and period of time spent with purchasers. This statistic speaks to the necessary work Sullivan-Kreiss undertakes day in and day trip with the people she serves.

Reaching Scale and Effectivity

So, how is Sullivan-Kreiss capable of spend a lot time with purchasers? There are inherent difficulties in scaling a concierge mannequin. Nonetheless, as she labored by fixing them, Sullivan-Kreiss discovered that having the correct workers and agency companion may help facilitate enterprise scale and effectivity.

The ability of your folks. Sullivan-Kreiss delegates administrative, operational, and sure planning duties so she will be able to give attention to client-facing work. With three full-time workers members (a director of consumer relations, a monetary analyst, and an operations supervisor), she is obvious on their significance to her enterprise mannequin: “My workforce is phenomenal. What they do behind the scenes allows me to be good at my job and spend as a lot time as I can with my purchasers. Their strengths permit the agency to ship top-tier concierge-level assist—the personal touch we dedicate to every consumer.”

Based on Sullivan-Kreiss, her regular development has been pushed by her workforce’s steadiness of competencies. And that development has introduced the agency to an inflection level, the place extra workers is critical. To deal with the quantity of labor and hold her productiveness excessive, Sullivan-Kreiss plans so as to add an funding supervisor and a further advisor to the workforce.

When requested about recommendation for advisors seeking to develop, she states, “One of the crucial productive issues you are able to do is empower your folks and provides them room to develop. It’s completely key to have the correct folks on workers, significantly those that have complementary expertise units to yours.”

The affect of your agency companion. Sullivan-Kreiss remembers her agency’s early years flying by in a blur, however she has at all times acknowledged the significance of a supportive agency companion. She explains, “Along with actually busting your derriere . . . you need to domesticate the correct relationships with the correct folks. You want to have a companion behind you that’s proactive and responsive.”

Like different impartial advisors, Sullivan-Kreiss appears to be like to her agency companion for a wide selection of back-office assets and assist. As a result of her work is grounded in monetary planning, she appreciates having specialists, similar to Commonwealth’s Superior Planning workforce, available to speak by a posh planning or retirement downside.

As for funding administration, Sullivan-Kreiss acknowledges that this position is an ongoing problem for any impartial agency. She prefers customized portfolio administration and, with the help of her monetary analyst, does an excessive amount of her personal funding analysis. Nonetheless, if a consumer is on the lookout for a selected funding technique, she needs to have the ability to depend on her agency companion for specialised data. She receives that assist from Commonwealth’s Funding Administration and Analysis workforce.

In the end, Sullivan-Kreiss says that your agency companion should be capable to present a “phenomenal stage of assist” that’s tailor-made to your wants.

Cementing the Cornerstones of Success

Being an impartial advisor has allowed Sullivan-Kreiss to utterly align her agency together with her values and purchasers’ greatest pursuits. She’s been capable of construct the agency she’s at all times dreamed
of, one primarily based on placing her purchasers’ wants first and powered by environment friendly time administration. Proper now, she’s centered on the fun of the current and accelerating much more development sooner or later. Something is feasible together with her imaginative and prescient, a powerful workforce, and Commonwealth’s partnership at her again.

In case you’re an advisor desirous to go impartial, Sullivan-Kreiss’s recommendation is to do it as quickly as you’ll be able to. As for contemplating a agency companion, be thorough about due diligence and align with a agency whose values mirror yours. Final, however definitely not least, at all times understand that you need to go the place you’ll be able to develop, even when it’s one step at a time.

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