Starting a new job has its challenges, but with the right mindset and a sound strategy, COOs can make a difference for their wealth management organization.
Starting at a new firm is exciting, and the move comes with its benefits.
The compensation, the perks, the ability to showcase your skills, the pride in working for a reputable organization... all these things attract you.
However, with great benefits comes great responsibility.
You were brought in to take the organization to the next level, but you may find challenges larger and more complex than you anticipated.
That said, you are not powerless. With the right attitude and a methodical approach, wealth management COOs can make improvements their firm's operation.
Starting a new job, there's a lot you have to deal with as COO:
... where to begin?
Recognize you can fix all these problems, just not all at once. If you try and tackle everything, you'll get easily flustered.
Come to terms with this, and it'll help you focus on what you can control, step by step.
So yes, take a deep breath.
As part of the focus, you want a clear and actionable plan to implement your agenda.
Identify the issues, establish priorities, and figure out what resources and personnel are needed to get the job done.
You can't get it all done at once, but if you lay out a strategy that gets you to the end goal, executive management and the board of directors will appreciate your vision.
They all know operations needs to improve, but either they don't know how to make those improvements or they don't have the time to do it. That's why you're here.
Other leaders will appreciate you doing the thinking and heavy lifting for them so they don't have to.
Start with the low-hanging fruit. Get those early and small victories that build momentum.
For example, it can be as simple as scheduling daily or weekly meetings. If lack of communication and accountability are a problem, these meetings are opportunities to fix those issues.
Even if the workflows and deliverables are bigger problems and harder to fix, at least you are laying the foundation for real and positive change by getting the team together.
You have a vision and you'll be making big changes, but in order for that vision to be successfully implemented, you need to win over your new colleagues.
You were hired to improve the firm's operation. Part of that process means being a good leader, someone who inspires and motivates the team to be better.
You're changing people's routines and understandings of how work gets done. Furthermore, you may disagree and get annoyed with some of the firm's current processes, but be mindful of how you critique.
Team members will need to change their ways, but they'll respond more favorably when they're treated with respect.
Don't underestimate psychology. When staff feels like you see them as part of the solution and not as part of the problem, they will buy in to your vision more quickly and step up their game.
In addition, staff will respond more favorably when they feel like their voices are heard. Be prepared to listen and consider their input when making decisions.
Whatever your vision may be, there should be a digital component.
In our previous posts, we've discussed the importance of going digital, and the pandemic has only strengthened that case.
Remote work, virtual meetings, and paperless transactions are mainstream. Even after the pandemic is over, these aspects of doing work will remain in some capacity.
Delivering a top-notch client experience is how you differentiate yourself in a sea of wealth management competition.
One way to improve the client experience is by enhancing your digital offerings. Many advisers are lagging in the area of tech, so there is room to stand out.
Clients want to access to their investment portfolios in one place and in real time. This is where our TAMP1 platform can help you.
We mentioned above that you can fix all the problems, just not all at once.
There's one more point to add: you can fix all the problems, just not by yourself.
Some issues are so big that your team realistically cannot handle, and it's not worth the time and effort trying to handle in house.
It could be reporting issues, implementing automation, or migrating to a new portfolio accounting system.
You need vendors who can do these things efficiently and at a lower cost. This is where a firm like Empaxis helps.
When evaluating vendors, consider qualifications and compliance credentials. For example, our ISO 22301 certification demonstrates Empaxis's ability to help wealth managers protect against business disruptions while improving their operational efficiency.
Starting a new job can be fun and exciting, but as a wealth management COO, the pressure will be on once the honeymoon period ends.
You're tasked with fixing things that predated your arrival, and the problems may be larger and more complex than you once thought.
You won't solve all problems at once. That's why it is important to take a deep breath, create a plan, and implement small changes at the beginning to build momentum.
In the process, be a good leader; you need the cooperation of your team to successfully implement the plans.
And part of those plans should include a digital strategy and leveraging third parties.
By following the above methods, you're on path to achieve your operational objectives.
Empaxis helps wealth managers improve their operation by providing outsourcing, automation and cloud-based technology solutions.
Schedule a consultation to learn more.