The coronavirus has turned much of what we know to be ‘normal’ day to day routines completely upside down. No longer are social media feeds filled with talk of sports results, political debates, or the next destination vacation; rather, we are treated to ‘stay at home’ hashtags and memes of family gatherings and ‘six feet apart’ updates.
In the same way that the pandemic has uprooted routines across the globe, wealth management recruiting has been left with a ‘catch 22’ of sorts. While advisors have been forced to work from home it has provided recruiters and the firm’s courting them extra opportunities to engage in meaningful discussions without the normal cloak and dagger associated with the chase. Some firms, like Wells Fargo, have taken the opportunity to lean in to the ‘work from home’ opportunity and push their managers to recruit that much harder.
The only problem with that particular policy is this – where are they going to go once an advisor decides he/she wants to move to their new firm? Exactly where are they going to show up to and begin the process of onboarding clients, taking client meetings, transferring client assets via ACAT, setting up staff, etc etc? How is all of that supposed to be affected when nearly every firm with a meaningful COVID-19 policy has nearly mandated staff to stay away from their offices? The easy answer is you really can’t affect a meaningful move to a new firm right now.
Here are some real world logistics that make it impossible. Can you have a face to face client meeting to present paperwork to clients to affect asset and account transfers? No. Can you expect staff come into the office, in close quarters, working long hours and weekends, to pull off a successful transition to a new firm? No. Will clients be open to meeting at your new offices with quarantines and potential travel restrictions in place? No.
So while advisors, managers, recruiters, and even transition specialists all have the time to get nearly every ‘dotted i and crossed t’ done in a typical recruitment right now – the idea of the physical move itself, and all that comes with it is nearly impossible.