Important succession planning steps for financial firms

Succession planning is imperative for all businesses, financial advisory firms included.

However, there are far too many financial advisors who are yet to get started with succession planning. Often, this is because they don’t know where to start. Consequently, they put succession planning off, as they feel it is something that can be put aside for another day. But, unexpected events can easily take place, and putting together a succession plan is a lengthier process than you may realise, which is why you should start sooner rather than later. Below, we reveal the five steps to follow when putting a succession plan together.

1.     Identify key positions – The first step is to identify the critical positions at your financial advisory firm. After all, these positions are going to be the focus of your succession plan. So, what is a critical position? This is a role that is so important to your business that you would not be able to meet your objectives without it. To identify risk areas, demographic analysis or workforce projection data should be used. You can also compare the risk assessment to current vacancies and potential future vacancies, as this will help you to determine your business’ key positions.

2.     Position profiling – Once you have established the critical positions at your business, you then need to determine what capabilities are vital for successful performance in important positions and key areas of your company. This is imperative for assessing performance, setting performance expectations, and putting development and training plans into place. For example, if you sell insurance using another business platform, like American European Insurance Group, you must train employees in this. With position profiling, you are able to ensure that both future and existing employees have a thorough understanding of the qualifications, responsibilities, and technical and behavioural competencies that are required for key positions at your firm.

3.     Determine succession management strategies to use – There are a number of different human resource strategies that can be used during succession planning, and this step involves choosing the right one for your business. This includes everything from recruitment, to on-boarding, to developing internal talent pools. There is no right or wrong approach; it is all about determining the best approach to addressing succession planning for your firm.

4.     Implement succession plans and document them – Once you have determined what strategies you are going to adopt, you need to document them, and this becomes your succession plan. This should state everything from roles and responsibilities to timelines. You then need to put the plan into action.

5.     Assess the effectiveness of your succession plan – You should never simply devise a succession plan and then forget about it. Changes can occur at your business that impact succession planning, or your plan could simply not be as effective as you intended it to be. This is why it is important to make sure your succession plan is working, which is why you should monitor it. Monitor workforce data systematically and make changes whenever required.

If you follow the structure above, you should find it a lot easier to get started with succession planning at your financial advisory firm.

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