Archive for July, 2016

Are Your Referrals Slowing?

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

If your answer is yes, you’re probably not alone. In its most recent annual benchmarking study, InvestmentNews found that as advisory firms grow, business development (prospecting and marketing) becomes increasingly important for the most profitable firms – often times, as depicted below, at the same time that referrals take a lesser role.


Another conclusion reached by the study is that many firms begin by growing through referrals, but the most successful ones then master how to continue their grow through business development. But interestingly, the study also show that the most profitable firms at all stages of growth are those that rely less on referrals than their counterparts. Finally, the study showed that the top performing firms spend 50% more on their business development efforts than their peers.

This study is consistent with other studies that I have seen lately which show that high net worth individuals are becoming more reluctant to make referrals.

The bottom line lesson here is that reliance on referrals only – while maybe an acceptable practice in the past – is becoming increasingly difficult. It’s 2017 business planning time – consider taking the time to clearly define your target markets, make any necessary adjustments to them and develop a marketing plan that focuses on more proactive client acquisition.

Don’t stop asking for referrals; just stop counting on them.

AK In The News: Brexit And Hiring On Wall Street

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

I was asked to write an opinion piece for on how the U.K.’s vote to leave the EU would impact global hiring in the financial services industry. As with most major international events, there will be winners and losers within the financial services industry as things shake out. However, employers do not like uncertainty, and there is a lot of uncertainty at the moment, so hiring for now will slow as employers take a wait and see attitude.

In fact, neither the shorter- or longer-term implications of the Brexit are known at this time, as the process has not even begun and could take more than 2 years. British politics is in turmoil, as it looks like the leaders of all three major parties will be replaced, and the British Pound has dropped to a 30-year low versus the U.S. dollar.

While world stock markets have recovered from their initial shock, expect continued volatility through the usually slow summer and into the lead-up to the U.S. election in November – which itself is shaping up to be another wild card.

Click here to read the entire article and potential financial services winners and losers from the Brexit.