1. How do I know everything there is to know about going independent?
Prospera has built a turnkey, web-based transition system with just this question in mind. If this is your entry into independence, we have built this system for you. It can seem overwhelming, but there is no way for you to know every question you should be asking if you’ve never done it before. We’ll make sure we take you through a step-by-step process detailing everything you need to think about when opening your own business. Your dedicated launch lead stands with you from day one and is your trusted advocate through the entire process from finding office space to acclimating to the platform once you are officially here.
2. How do I get started in transitioning my business?
Once you have decided to join Prospera, the first step will be choosing a transition date. This is important for both you and your transition team. Our integrated transition system is then set up with all tasks and decisions geared towards that date. If the date moves for any reason, the tasks move accordingly. Once your date has been set and your launch system is customized to your needs, you will have an initial meeting with your dedicated transition team and begin weekly transition meetings from there.
3. How far in advance do I need to choose a transition date?
This depends on whether you’re going independent for the first time or if you’re already independent and have your own office space. If you’re already independent and have your own space, we recommend choosing a date 30 days in advance.
If you are going independent for the first time and need to choose a space, we recommend 90 days.
With this said, we have been ready to do transitions in as soon as 30 minutes when the situation warrants it.
4. What is broker protocol?
The Protocol for Broker Recruiting was originally created in 2004 by three wirehouse firms in order to reduce litigation between them from enforcing non-compete and non-solicitation clauses in employment contracts when reps changed employing broker-dealers and wanted to take and introduce their clients to the new BD. Firms belonging to Broker Protocol agree not to sue each other or the rep provided that its terms are followed and (regardless of the contrary language in the employment agreement) the departing rep takes and solicits only from a client list limited to five pieces of information (name, address, phone, email and type of account). Prospera has been a proud member of the Protocol for Broker Recruiting since November 2008. In addition, our employment contracts do not contain any non-compete or non-solicitation clauses. Our business is built on the belief that the client relationship belongs to the rep.
5. What can and can’t I do in a transition?
6. Can I see the status of my transition?
Our turnkey launch system is available to you via the web 24-7. We will have customized and integrated the tasks and decisions that need to be accomplished during your transition into our CRM, Salesforce, and provided you with a personal login. Any time you want to see the progress of your transition, you can log in and review what has been completed, what is in progress, what is past due and what is yet to come. We have set this up both visually and in lists for your convenience.
7. Will I have a dedicated transition specialist?
Yes. You will have an entire team dedicated to you and your transition. In addition, you will have a launch lead who will be your best friend during this time and who will serve as your go-to person for anything and everything you need. They will be available to you anytime, day or night.
8. Will you help me find office space and get it set up?
Yes. Part of our turn-key transition system entails helping you to identify the amount and type of space you need, finding your desired location and assisting with negotiating the lease and terms. We will also assist you in determining the appropriate technology vendor, work as a consultant with that vendor to ensure your business needs are met and help you order furniture.
9. Will you do my paperwork for me?
Yes. Upon your resignation, assuming you are coming from a protocol firm, we will put together all of your paperwork for you, household it and overnight the documents to you so you can deliver it to your clients. Alternatively, we can mail directly to your clients from the home office if you choose. Bottom line—we will do as much or as little as you choose.
10. What about training my staff?
Prospera has a recommended webinar training schedule for both you and your staff. In addition, when possible, Prospera recommends sending your staff to our home office ahead of the transition so they can meet our staff and get some hands-on training. As always, we will customize our training schedule to best meet the needs of you and your staff.
11. What percent of my AUM can I expect to move with me?
If you are a member of a protocol firm, you can expect to move an average of 80% of your current assets. Typically, most advisors use this transition time to clean up their book as well.
If you are a member of a non-protocol firm, you can typically expect to move 50-60% of your clients initially.
12. How quickly can I be up and running? Or how long will it take to get my accounts transferred?
Most advisors are up and running smoothly again within 90 days of their transition date. However, this time frame can vary widely. Some advisors with mostly local clients are comfortable within 30 days while other who have to sift through clients and wait for the mail may be closer to 120 days.
13. Will you have someone in my office to help with the transition?
Yes. We are happy to have your transition lead in your office in the days following transition if you choose.
14. When or what time of the year is the best time to transition?
There are advantages and disadvantages to moving at any time of year. It is our experience that moving over the year-end holidays is not optimal for several reasons: clients are out of town, not focused and FINRA closes down typically the last 2 weeks of the year for registration purposes. Other than that, there really is no good or bad time based on our experience.
15. Can I talk to someone who recently transitioned his or her business?
Of course. We love nothing more than for our advisors to network and talk to one another. Your transition lead or new business development contact would be happy to put you in touch with as many current Prospera advisors as you would like.