When building a successful team as a financial planner many of us often want to hire people that remind us of ourselves. It feels easier, more comfortable, and more secure. But this tends to be a mistake.


1. Define the common core characteristics that are critical for each team member and yourself such as Loyalty, Mutual Respect, Empathy, Open and Transparent Communication, Trust, Efficiency, Work Ethic.

Confirm that all team members, including those you hire, encompass each of these, but then do your best to hire diverse members so that diverse collaboration excels.

There are several simple tools I can suggest to help determine and confirm that the parties both on your team, as well as those you are considering, share the same core characteristics that you require, as well as fulfilling the additional capacities you need.


2. Why does diversity matter?

  • Teams with higher-than-average diversity had 19% higher innovation revenues. (NNA, more efficient marketing) (Harvard Business Review)
  • Increased representation of women in higher-level positions results in 34% greater returns to shareholders. (Fast Company)
  • The millennial and Gen Z generations are the most diverse in history; only 56% of the 87 million millennials in the country are white, as compared to 72% of the 76 million members of the baby boomer generation. (CNN Money)

Why does this matter? When you are hiring top talent and you want to instill loyalty with team members, think about the fact that they don’t want to be the only “non-white” person on your team. Or perhaps the only female.

  • Also, when attracting prospective clients in the ever-growing population of investors younger than 45, given the statistic stated immediately above, they are less likely to hire a wealth advisory team that lacks diversity.
  • When you are working to retain the younger family members of your existing clients, they require a diverse team.
  • It has been proven by Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Cerulli, and several other top business publications that “a lack of diversity in an organization hampers innovation, prohibits members of minority groups from being recognized for their contributions, and FAILS TO MEET CLIENT EXPECTATIONS.”


3. Define the roles/strengths your team must have to be successful, productive, and efficient: Relationship Manager, Business Development/Marketing, Investment Expert, Technology, Operations-Detail-Compliance-Efficiency.

Do your best not to force someone who is fabulous at developing and maintaining relationships to be an operations (non-client facing) person. Or, your introverted CIO to assist with business development.

There are many simple tests that help to determine a person’s inherent strengths. If you place someone into a position they are not best suited for, it will clearly cause inefficiencies, not to mention, elevate that person’s stress level and cause them to be unhappy and perhaps less loyal.

Utilizing a person who can come in and evaluate your team members and confirm they are in the roles best suited for them, it is worth every penny. The ROI will be realized quickly in that efficiencies will increase, as will loyalty, flow, and overall enthusiasm. Teams often don’t know what they don’t know as they have always done it a certain way… It’s like a puzzle, when each of the pieces fits perfectly, you know it is complete.


4. When evaluating the need for growth, first ask the questions;

  • Is each member truly at full capacity?
  • Is each member in the role best suited for them? How do we know? And if not, how do we handle it?
  • What role(s) are we missing to help get us to the next level and/or tighten up what we have and streamline productivity.
  • Should existing roles adjust? What does that look like?
  • When interviewing a new person, be careful not to rely too much on their resume. Go through the needed steps to make sure they will be a good fit for you, your team, and especially your clients.

I look forward to discussing this with you in greater specificity. Feel free to email me.

Julie Johnson started her career in 1996 as a rookie with Smith Barney in Denver. By 2007 she and her team managed over $1B in AUM. They moved their team and every client, including pensions, foundations, 401k’s, family offices, and ultra HNW individuals, to UBS in the Fall of 2007, and then came 2008.

Julie was named SVP with UBS, her team received Barron’s top advisor and top team awards during her tenure. On multiple occasions, she was invited to speak and consult on practice management, sales, and business development.

In 2016 Julie began her career as a full-time certified coach, consultant, public speaker, and author. She was engaged to consult with advisors and speak at such esteemed national conferences as Barron’s and Fidelity, as well as several regional conferences, both in person and virtually, with FPA, Forbes, Morgan Stanley, Wealth Management, UBS, Ameriprise, BNY Mellon, just to name a few.

Julie Johnson President & CEO
XY Communication

Related Podcasts and Posts

Read More
Read More
Read More