The Boardroom is an exquisitely curated group of professional financial planners that have grown successful advice businesses and are now looking to the future and asking, "What's next? How do I take my business to the next level?"
For most, this would mean a World-class Client Experience, which includes but is in no way limited to:
~ Client value proposition
~ Advice value proposition
~ Brand, image and reputation
~ Client avatar
~ Charging model
Despite the success of the business you have grown, the reality is that you would have to reevaluate what you do and how you do it. But that's why you're here, isn't it? You want your seat at The Boardroom table because you've earned it and now is the time affect the change that you envision. Well, now you have a board at your disposal and your thinking will be tested, as will your delivery. You are wholly responsible for what is to come.
A New Dawn for Financial Planning Businesses
You have built your business based on the knowledge, skills and experience that you have, but "What got you here, won't get you there" [a book by Marshall Goldsmith] which means that you will have to acquire new knowledge and new skills. Most of us came though the insurance industry and were taught a certain way of doing things. Along with this came sets of assumptions and beliefs which now only serve to block you from seeing what is possible and building the business of your dreams. Right now you're standing at the precipice of a new dawn - your day has come.
World-class Financial Planners
To maintain a board we need financial planners that represent the best of the best. I would go as far as to say the top 4% of financial planners in South Africa, calculated as the top 20% of the top 20%. This is not a bold claim, but a bold objective because The Boardroom has the opportunity to positively influence the profession of financial planning, and to do this from within, we need to maintain a community of members that is bold enough to lead.
Existing members, together with graduate members, form a community of high-level faculty leaders and strategic thinkers for life. Members' commitment to active boardroom participation is long enough to affect lasting change in their businesses and the relationships that they forge are ongoing. As the community grows, so does its influence on the profession.
The Boardroom is the entry point to the next level that you seek. To create a world-class client experience requires you to disrupt your current business model and adopt new practices throughout the business. This cannot be done without leadership, guidance and support and that begins with coaching. The Boardroom is a Financial Planning Coaching Circle - group coaching at its best.
The coaching circle is also the entry point to the community of high-level financial planners, current and graduate. Once disrupted, you will naturally go through the phases of confusion, acceptance, excitement, implementation and embedding, and the more like-minded financial planners you have on this journey with you, the more accelerated your growth.
It is important to note that The Boardroom is not a programme, workshop or course and does not provide you with a blueprint that you can apply to any financial planning business. Instead, it considers your questions and challenges you to ask bigger ones. When you know what you want and what it looks like, you will find that the answers are everywhere. We will show you.
Participation has many Benefits
Financial planners that have grown mature practices often pause to take stock, and it is at this point that they are faced with 3 choices:
Refuse to change (no growth)
Chase tactics (dissonance)
Adapt and innovate (growth)
In pursuit of #3, The Boardroom provides you with unequivocal support around:
Mentors: Financial planners that have been where you are and have transitioned their businesses
Influencers: Key persons in the profession that are making a positive difference in a variety of ways
Financial Planners of the Year: Direct and indirect access through existing relationships
World-class businesses: [Lifestyle] financial planning, wealth management, fee-based, salary paying
Tech advisors: Systems, hardware, software, solutions
Business consultants: Vision, strategy, valuations, succession planning
Practice managers: Processes, procedures, workflow, compliance, client management
Marketing experts: Traditional, digital, social, presence, publicity, PR, eventing
Regulatory authorities: RDR, KYC, twin peaks............
Industry bodies: FPI
CPD content and creators: Practical, implementable, future-fit
Furthermore, board members have access to exclusive courses and workshops, tailor-designed for practices seeking world-class status. This customised content is designed and delivered by industry experts and customised to suit the needs of member practices. Some is free and some bears a cost.
You will be Challenged
You will face resistance from within, and from those around you. You will be shifting gear, taking a new direction... that's uncomfortable and even more so for those that follow you, because familiarity is comfortable. You could continue as you have, but you know that it neither serves you, your clients nor the profession, and you want to grow a world-class advice business that is remarkable - one that creates raving fans, committed clients and solid referrals. Leadership is lonely but you cannot do it alone. That's why you need a seat at the table - strength in numbers.
As a member of the board, you will open your business up to the scrutiny of the other board members, allowing objective opinion and perspective that will have you pause and consider your vision, direction and strategy. You will have the power of the board behind you as you create a formidable force in the profession of financial planning.
Are you a Potential Board Member?
Like with any board, we are looking for members that have an admirable track record. This is of course a relative concept in this respect, but it would be ideal if you have demonstrated a desire to transition your business from good to great before pursing world-class. If you have hit your head a thousand times trying to find answers, then we would like to reserve you a seat. We not might have all the answers, but we can help you find them.
In addition, the following would support you and us in determining whether we are aligned:
~ Independent - because you need to have control over how you charge
~ Qualified - the optics are important... CFP, studying toward, relevant under/post-grad
~ Experienced - at least 5 years financial planning, 3 years client facing
~ Holistic practice - wealth management = wealth creation + wealth protection
~ Age - 30 to 55 years old, give or take
~ Fee-based - pure, hybrid, transitioning or the real intention to transition
*These are guiding principles more than anything, but we support a profession rather than an industry.
PS. No Products Allowed
Products, platforms and providers are important considerations when implementing advice, but The Boardroom supports financial planners to create a world-class client experience, and not an implementation solution. Where business is placed will always rely on the policy of the business and the discretion of the advisor.
It's an R18,000 INVESTMENT, Upfront
Less than a comprehensive financial plan, if you charge a fee. 9 hours' work, if you are worth R2,000 an hour. R1,500 a month, if you want to look at it like that.
It is an investment because you need to do the work to realise a return. And it is upfront because we need your commitment to support you.
It's a 12-month Commitment
In my experience, it takes at least 12 months to adopt and implement a new way of thinking to transition the business.
We meet for 1.5 hours, twice a month - digitally because it extends our reach and makes sense.
In the Event of...
Although we are a digital community, every so often we arrange face-to-face get-togethers to deepen the bond between board members. These are generally more intimate gatherings - regionally based - but as the community grows, we will create national opportunities, still more casual in nature. The purpose is exclusively relationship and networking, plus a little entertainment to carry it!
Notices and an agenda are posted within the community.
Life After The Boardroom
Members come and go but the group is ongoing, creating a growing community of current and past members that continue to improve their businesses, and drive the profession forward. After your 12 months, you have the choice to either renew for another 12 months (space dependent) or graduate. Graduates will have lifelong access to the member and graduate community.
About Me (the relevant bits)
I entered the insurance industry in 2003, at which time I studied toward my CFP because I wanted to do financial planning rather than sell products. I was successful, but was disillusioned by the product focus and commission models that agency prescribed. I sought independent alternatives and was particularly interested in UK and Australian businesses because of their advanced thinking and practice. This resulted in my joining HSBC Bank International (now HSBC Expat) in the position of International Wealth Manager. This was in July 2008, at which time we experienced the second biggest market crash in world history. That, together with our licensing restrictions and our resultant marketing limitations, should have made times tough, but I soared, building assets at R100 million a year.
HSBC embodied client-centricity which extended beyond the adequate use of a CRM, but deeply into the heartfelt enquiry into a client's dreams, goals and circumstances. The company also had a coaching culture which positively influenced our internal relationships as well as those with our clients, to the degree that our 'ways of being' shifted and we were better people, offering a superior client experience.
Shortly before HSBC exited South Africa, I joined Acsis, a boutique asset management business, that created the unique position of Financial Planning coach. Acsis consulted to its independent, strategic partner businesses to help them grow their assets and create sticky money. Our success was in working with financial planners that had reached a point in their businesses where they required support in taking them to the next level to create world-class businesses.
Old Mutual recognised the success of this model and purchased Acsis, together with 6 other businesses, and formed Old Mutual Wealth. There, we recreated the value proposition, formed a team of financial planning coaches, business coaches and strategic relationship managers, and took it to market. It was during this time that I trained to become a life coach to further bolster my value to financial planners, and I started Success Coaching as a sideline concern, with permission from Old Mutual, initially with the intention of keeping up the 'raw skill'.
I fell in love with coaching and after 2.5 years of building myself up to become a dominant player in the personal growth and development space, I left employ and went full time in to Success Coaching. My core business is 1-on-1 life coaching but I maintain inextricable links with the financial planning profession, including coaching some high-caliber financial planners in my Private Client space. My first project was to launch INSANE! Prospecting, a bootcamp for financial advisors that want to grow their businesses through new client acquisition. Next was to launch the Advisor Dojo, a coaching circle for financial advisors that want to be better financial advisors and grow their businesses. The Dojo's creation led to further thinking and development, which ultimately had me arrive at The Boardroom.