Home Wealth Management A High Commonwealth Advisor on Driving Productiveness

A 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 unbiased advisory agency, SullivanKreiss Monetary, in 2004. Having spent the earlier 13 years as an advisor on employees 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 wanting to develop a concierge service mannequin constructed round a robust tradition of fiduciary accountability to purchasers.

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

Throughout our conversations, the power of Sullivan-Kreiss’s dedication to this imaginative and prescient at all times shined by means of. The profitable progress 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 personalised concierge service that Sullivan-Kreiss believes makes her agency particular, she has grow to be a grasp of time administration. She has discovered how you can function effectively and collect the mandatory assets to maintain progress and construct economies of scale.

Should you’re trying to go unbiased or develop a longtime advisory enterprise, understanding the facility of Sullivan-Kreiss’s enterprise selections may provide help to chart the way in which towards optimizing your time and setting your agency up for long-term progress.

Constructing One thing Particular

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

A proactive service mannequin. Ideally, SullivanKreiss Monetary purchasers shouldn’t get voicemail after they name, and follow-up to requests and issues 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 fascinated by “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: based on Sullivan-Kreiss, “The vast majority of my agency’s new purchasers come from referrals from current purchasers.”

Spending Extra Time with Purchasers

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 potential with purchasers. Notably, like lots of her Commonwealth friends, Sullivan-Kreiss spends considerably extra time in consumer conferences than different business advisors. That’s based on a 2020–2021 examine performed 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 unbiased companies.

In truth, based mostly on additional evaluation of the information, Commonwealth’s Apply Administration group decided that Sullivan-Kreiss ranked within the prime decile of productiveness amongst Commonwealth advisors, based mostly on gross income, progress price, and period of time spent with purchasers. This statistic speaks to the vital work Sullivan-Kreiss undertakes day in and time out with the people she serves.

Attaining Scale and Effectivity

So, how is Sullivan-Kreiss in a position to spend a lot time with purchasers? There are inherent difficulties in scaling a concierge mannequin. Nonetheless, as she labored by means of fixing them, Sullivan-Kreiss discovered that having the precise employees and agency associate will help facilitate enterprise scale and effectivity.

The facility of your individuals. Sullivan-Kreiss delegates administrative, operational, and sure planning duties so she will be able to deal with client-facing work. With three full-time employees members (a director of consumer relations, a monetary analyst, and an operations supervisor), she is evident on their significance to her enterprise mannequin: “My group is phenomenal. What they do behind the scenes permits 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 personalized effect we dedicate to each consumer.”

In accordance with Sullivan-Kreiss, her regular progress has been pushed by her group’s stability of competencies. And that progress has introduced the agency to an inflection level, the place further employees is important. To deal with the quantity of labor and maintain her productiveness excessive, Sullivan-Kreiss plans so as to add an funding supervisor and a further advisor to the group.

When requested about recommendation for advisors trying to develop, she states, “Some of the productive issues you are able to do is empower your individuals and provides them room to develop. It’s completely key to have the precise individuals on employees, significantly those that have complementary expertise units to yours.”

The affect of your agency associate. 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 associate. She explains, “Along with actually busting your derriere . . . it’s important to domesticate the precise relationships with the precise individuals. You should have a associate behind you that’s proactive and responsive.”

Like different unbiased advisors, Sullivan-Kreiss appears to be like to her agency associate for a big selection of back-office assets and assist. As a result of her work is grounded in monetary planning, she appreciates having specialists, akin to Commonwealth’s Superior Planning group, available to speak by means of a fancy planning or retirement downside.

As for funding administration, Sullivan-Kreiss acknowledges that this position is an ongoing problem for any unbiased 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 particular funding technique, she desires to have the ability to depend on her agency associate for specialised data. She receives that assist from Commonwealth’s Funding Administration and Analysis group.

Finally, Sullivan-Kreiss says that your agency associate should have the ability to present a “phenomenal degree of assist” that’s tailor-made to your wants.

Cementing the Cornerstones of Success

Being an unbiased advisor has allowed Sullivan-Kreiss to utterly align her agency along with her values and purchasers’ greatest pursuits. She’s been in a position to construct the agency she’s at all times dreamed
of, one based mostly on placing her purchasers’ wants first and powered by environment friendly time administration. Proper now, she’s targeted on the thrill of the current and accelerating much more progress sooner or later. Something is feasible along with her imaginative and prescient, a robust group, and Commonwealth’s partnership at her again.

Should you’re an advisor eager to go unbiased, Sullivan-Kreiss’s recommendation is to do it as quickly as you’ll be able to. As for contemplating a agency associate, 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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