You’ve poured your blood, sweat, and tears into building your financial practice. Years of hard work, dedication, and focus have made your practice what it is today. 

Consider this: What happens to your clients, your team, and your legacy if you step away? That’s why having a rock-solid succession plan isn’t just an option; it’s a necessity.

Succession planning is not just about plotting an exit strategy; it’s about securing the longevity and legacy of your financial advisory business for you, your family, and your clients. 

As an independent financial professional, you may not have a network of other advisory firm owners that you know.  So, what’s the best way to begin forming a succession plan for your firm?  

This is where a partnership with an OSJ can greatly assist you in creating succession strategies for your firm.

Our article will provide background information about various ways an OSJ can facilitate the development of succession and business continuity plans:

  • What is succession planning for financial advisors? 
  • What is business continuity for financial advisors?
  • How are investors better off when their advisors have succession and continuity plans?
  • What is the role of the OSJ in the succession and continuity planning processes?

Done correctly, this is a win-win-win for your clients, your team, your family, and the OSJ.

Read our Quick Guide: Building, Growing, Exiting: How Financial Professionals Leverage OSJs

Why is Succession Planning Important for Independent Financial Professionals? 

Like you tell your clients, “Failing to plan is planning to fail” think of succession planning for your firm in the same vein.  

A succession plan should account for both the expected and unexpected. It can also help to reduce any undue pressure or stress on your clients should something happen to you.  Your clients should continue receiving the expected services and guidance without interruption, maintaining trust and confidence.

Another reason you need a succession plan is to protect the value of your firm, which is often tied to your client base and brand reputation. Without a succession plan in place, the value of your firm could diminish rapidly if something happens to you. Think of a succession plan as a form of risk management that protects not only your clients but any employees and stakeholders of the firm.

What is Business Continuity for Independent Financial Advisors?

Another important process you should have established for your firm is a Business Continuity Plan (BCP).  Like a succession plan, a BCP is important to ensure uninterrupted service to your clients during a natural disaster.  

Your BCP should address scenarios such as hurricanes, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, and tornadoes that can lead to power outages or the loss of a physical location. 

What is the Role of the OSJ in the Succession and Continuity Planning Processes?

Here are various ways that an OSJ can assist you in developing and executing a comprehensive succession plan for your firm:

1. Your OSJ can provide oversight for compliance and regulatory matters. The OSJ can ensure that all aspects of the succession plan align with industry regulations and standards, preventing any legal hiccups that could disrupt the transition.

2. In the event your succession plan is activated, your OSJ can act as a facilitator, overseeing the smooth transition of new management. It can coordinate the transfer of responsibilities and client relationships from the retiring advisor to the successor.

3. Another way your OSJ can assist with succession planning is to identify and mitigate any potential risks that may arise during the succession plan execution.

4. The role of an OSJ is to ensure business continuity during the transfer of services.  This should include ensuring that your clients experience a seamless transition and continue to receive the same level of service and attention, safeguarding the reputation and value of the advisory practice.

5. Your OSJ can also provide assistance in preparing the successor, helping them acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to take over the practice successfully. This includes mentorship and guidance to ensure a smooth transition.

6. Your OSJ can assist in creating effective client communications, assuring them that there should be minimal disruption to their financial plans. This personal touch is crucial in maintaining trust.

7. Keeping detailed records of the succession process is another crucial role of the OSJ. These records are vital for compliance and future reference, ensuring a transparent transition.

8. Your OSJ can facilitate a smoother transfer of client assets between advisors or within the same firm, ensuring compliance with industry and firm-specific rules.

9. Leveraging their broad network of independent financial professionals, your OSJ can help identify potential successors or partners for you.  This can be very helpful if you don’t have many connections with other advisory firm owners. 

About Evolution Financial Advisors

At Evolution Financial Advisors, we offer a wide range of services specifically designed for independent financial advisory firms throughout New York and the U.S. 

We’re not just another Large Enterprise/OSJ in the Osaic network. We like to think of ourselves as a boutique firm.  Every independent financial advisor we collaborate with matters a whole lot to us.

But don’t let our personalized touch fool you. We’re also one of the largest OSJs around. How did we get here? It’s all thanks to the hard work of our team that set us apart from the rest.

When you partner with Evolution, you’re not just getting a service provider—you’re getting a team that’s deeply involved in shaping the future of the financial sector.
To learn more about our comprehensive succession planning services, connect today.

Large Enterprise/OSJ
Chris Virgil

More about the author: Chris Virgil

Chris is the assistant vice president at Evolution Financial Advisors. He works to help advisors grow their businesses and gain a sense of freedom. Chris is a business and behavioral coach working with existing EFA financial professionals to create a more fulfilling practice, streamline operations, and enhance client experience.