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Practice Made (More) Perfect: Transforming a Financial Advisory Practice Into a Business

ISBN: 978-1-118-09549-2
336 pages
July 2011
Practice Made (More) Perfect: Transforming a Financial Advisory Practice Into a Business (1118095499) cover image
A revised and expanded look at how to thrive and prosper in the financial advisory business

A new and revised edition of the eye-opening, no-nonsense handbook on managing and growing a financial-advisory business, Practice Made (More) Perfect is packed with industry insight and practical ideas that every leader and manager within a financial advisory practice needs to know in order to get the most out of their business. Regardless of how little time is available or how seriously challenged a firm may be, this book contains the information that can help. The principles of sound management apply to firms of all types, and the tools provided in this book are guaranteed to be applicable under practically any circumstances.

  • Written by industry expert Mark Tibergien, one of the "25 Most Influential" people in the financial services industry
  • A new edition of a bestselling Bloomberg title
  • Includes fresh insight on recent topics, including how advisors responded during the latest meltdown, the implications of the aging advisory profession, the challenges of attracting and keeping both clients and staff, the role of organizational design in a growing business, recent changes in compensation planning and implementation, and key information on leadership and management in today's financial world

Many financial advisers run their businesses as if acquiring more clients will solve any and all problems, but without a strategic framework, more clients just lead to more demands and less time to meet them. The truly successful firm will build strategy, structure, and processes that will ultimately translate into increased profits, cash flow, and transferable value.

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Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction xix

CHAPTER 1. The Financial Advisory Business: What’s Next? 1

What Are Top-Performing Firms Doing? 3

The Business as Client 4

10 Things to Think About 4

CHAPTER 2. Strategic Business Planning: Defining the Direction 11

Muddled Messages 12

What Is Your Strategic Differentiator? 14

What Is Strategic Planning? 14

The Strategic Planning Process 16

CHAPTER 3. ManagingWorkflow: The Back OfficeMoves Forward 35

Sources of Inefficiency 36

Achieving Efficiencies 37

Does Efficiency Come at a Cost? 39

Managing Risk 45

CHAPTER 4. Building Leverage and Capacity 55

Getting to the Next Stage 56

Becoming a Market Dominator 57

The Challenge of Growth 58

The Entrepreneurial Crossroads 59

Cornerstones of the Professional Practice 66

Models That Work 68

Leveraging Your Affiliations 72

Big Is Beautiful 76

CHAPTER 5. The Human Capital Plan: People Who Need People 81

The Problem You Can’t Do Without 82

Aligning Human Capital with Strategy 83

The Nature of the Work 86

The Nature of the Worker 90

The Interviewing Process 93

CHAPTER 6. Creating a Positive Workplace: Professional Development 99

The Career Path 101

The Appraisal Process 104

Coaching and Development 107

The Workplace 109

Building a Foundation 114

The Four-Way Test 115

Lessons on Inclusion 125

CHAPTER 7. Rewarding Behavior and Performance: Compensation Planning 129

Developing a Plan 135

The Components of Compensation 139

Establishing Base Compensation 149

Establishing an Incentive Compensation Plan 150

Owner’s Compensation 153

CHAPTER 8. Reading the Financials: Financial Management 155

Fundamentals of Accounting 155

Constructing a Financial Statement 156

Tying the Financials Together 165

CHAPTER 9. Income, Profit, Cash Flow: What the Numbers Are Saying 167

Formatting the Financials 168

Analyzing the Income Statement 169

Analyzing the Balance Sheet 179

Analyzing the Statement of Cash Flow 184

Financial Impact Analysis 185

CHAPTER 10. Managing Growth: The Search for Solutions 189

Harnessing Resources 190

Using Financial Leverage 192

Managing Cash Flow 194

How About Equity? 195

Referral Agreements and Joint Ventures 196

Practice Acquisitions 199

Investments in New Initiatives 203

CHAPTER 11. Exit, Stage Left 205

The Price of Indecision 206

Sale Planning versus Succession Planning 207

Wisdom or Obsolescence? 209

What to Do? 210

Keeping It in the Family 211

How to Make a Partner 217

What About the Successor? 223

Merger as a Succession Plan 226

So What Do You Do? 228

Seeking Counsel 230

Developing the Assumptions 231

Take Control 232

CHAPTER 12. On Leadership andManagement 235

What Defines a Leader? 236

Who Will Emerge? 239

Is Anybody Leading? 240

Rites of Passage 242

Ready, Fire, Aim 244

Awakening the Manager in You 248

Practice What We Preach 251

Hiring Your Boss: Do You Need a CEO? 251

Afterword 257

Appendix 261

About the Authors 297

Index 299

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Mark C. Tibergien is Chief Executive Officerfor Pershing Advisor Solutions LLC, a BNY Mellon company, and a Managing Director and memberof the Executive Committee for Pershing LLC. Foreight consecutive years, Accounting Today has recognized Mr. Tibergien as one of the "100 MostInfluential" people in the accounting professionand Financial Planning has identified him as a "Mover and Shaker" in their annual review of industry professionals. In 2011, for the ninthtime, Investment Advisor recognized him as one of the "25 Most Influential" people in the financialservices industry.

Rebecca Pomering is a partner with Moss Adams LLP and CEO of Moss Adams Wealth Advisors, the firm's wealth management division, where she is responsible for the growth of the firm, including strategic planning, sales and marketing, team development, human capital, CPA firm integration, financial management, and mergers and acquisitions.

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