The Secret to Building a Great Support Staff | Financial Advisor IQ by Chris Latham


Many advisors underestimate the value of stellar client-facing support. Bosses either elbow in on tasks best left to assistants or balk at paying for the talent they need. But experts say the time and money put into building an all-star team can pay significant dividends.

According to support-team managers and consultants, practice leaders have a responsibility to think about how staffing influences client satisfaction and what their firm needs in order to grow. For example, rather than bringing on two so-so specialists, consider whether a single excellent generalist might increase productivity without breaking the bank.

Evensky & Katz, which manages around $1.5 billion from Coral Gables, Fla., is one firm that refuses to scrimp on personnel. Its support staff includes an administrative assistant, a portfolio administrator and several financial analysts. Its principals oversee marketing and compliance. “If you care about your clients, you cannot build a strong client-facing support staff on a limited budget,” says chairman Harold Evensky. “Qualified, credentialed and experienced practitioners are not cheap, nor should they be.”


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