My guest on today’s podcast is Grier Rubeling. Grier is the founder of Advisor Transition Services, a consulting firm based in Cary, North Carolina, that helps advisors switch from one broker-dealer or custodian platform to another, often when breaking away from a larger firm to start up their own.
What’s unique about Grier, though, is her detail-oriented approach to helping firms make transitions quickly… which is an inherently complex leap to make legally, logistically, and emotionally, for which Grier built a slew of ultra-responsive Excel tools to show advisors live updates of exactly where they are for the entire time through the transition processes so they can get back to being able to bill for their services again as soon as possible.
In this episode, we discuss how Grier helps advisors navigate the complex world of leaving protocol vs. non-protocol firms and how transitions change depending on whether the advisor has a non-solicit agreement or not, how Grier advises advisors when communicating and setting expectations with clients through the process to help them retain as many clients as they can even as they navigate both the legal and practical constraints of what client information they can bring along or have to re-create, and how Grier organizes client data during a transition to not only gather it more efficiently, but also to apply it more easily across the many legal forms and applications to help advisors get through the transition – and back to billing as quickly as possible.
We also talk about how Grier’s own entry into the realm of financial advisors was intrinsically tied to transitioning custodians, where she discovered she had a special knack for the systems and processes and making sense out of chaos, how Grier has learned to navigate the unique differences between transitions under Broker Protocol, non-Protocol transitions for employee advisors at large firms, and so-called “PNA” (or Protocol Not Applicable) transitions when advisors work for open platforms that allow them to leave without constraints (but they still have to navigate a slew of transfers as quickly as possible to reduce how long they’re not getting paid while moving from one platform to another), and how 15 years of overseeing and actively working in these custodian and broker-dealer transitions, coupled with a determination to at least never make the same mistake twice, has set Grier up to be a unique expert in the world of advisor transitions.
And be certain to listen to the end, where Grier shares the challenges she went through in the hiring (and then firing) of her own first full-time employee (and then setting up a sustainable system with contractors that better meshed with the ebb and flow of her contract work), how Grier discovered that the biggest challenge for advisor transitions is not actually the process itself – which can be accomplished by executing with good tools and templates – but simply the fear of the unknown for advisors who have never been through the process (which has led her to share a number of her tools and templates directly out to advisors on her website), and the marketing success Grier found in branding her company Advisor Transition Services and just calling it exactly what it is… and then simply showing up as herself to lead it.
So whether you’re interested in learning how Grier’s work in operations set her up for transitional success, exactly who Grier uses to navigate complex advisory transitions, and what Grier would recommend to advisors starting this path, then we hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, with Grier Rubeling.