The TRO scenario should be at the epicenter of how you evaluate other firm and platform provider options. Any recruiting Value Proposition you are considering will lose much of its worth if you lose the TRO battle.
The enthusiasm and promise you have when you join another opportunity will diminish with each passing day, week, and month that goes by that you can’t contact, communicate with, and/or do business with your clients if you a TRO motion against you are granted.
A non-protocol, non-solicitation transition is very different than a protocol transition. From the client information that is considered confidential to implementing an announcement vs. solicit onboarding campaign.
It is too risky, with too much at stake, to join an uncommitted or unprepared firm who doesn’t have a comprehensive, non-protocol recruiting plan of action. Unfortunately, advisors can’t just assume the firm or platform they are joining has a plan because most don’t.
This is especially important to pay attention to when the firm you are joining doesn’t have non-protocol recruiting experience. You’ll want to make sure your expert attorney is on board with and has helped develop your plan. You’ll also want to take a little extra precaution in this case because a big mess up by the firm (no matter how innocent) goes down as a learning experience for the firm. For you the advisor, however, it could devastate your business.
TRO as Recruiting Litmus Test:
- If a firm or platform provider you are evaluating isn’t wholly committed to supporting you with a competent plan and resources to execute, then forgive our directness but this is the wrong option. At least, the wrong choice for this moment in time.
- Any firm or platform provider you are evaluating should be taking the leadership role in your relationship for laying out their non-protocol process and approach. If you find that it is you that is having to spearhead this process, then this is not an option worthy of your affiliation, no matter how nice they are.
- If a firm option can’t articulate the exact process for you to join them and onboard clients in a way that makes beating the TRO probable instead of just possible, what does this reveal about the attention to detail in other matters critical to your practice after you join?
- They should introduce you and pay for, an expert attorney for expert consultation and development of your exit plan.
- Are they going to have your back if a TRO motion is granted against you? Does the firm have the stomach and resources to provide legal support and defense of defending and fighting the TRO if it is granted?
We have shared in several previous articles that there will be firms that are leaders and followers in recruiting from non-protocol firms like UBS and Morgan Stanley. The recently announced TRO victories and the others that will be announced over the next weeks and months will encourage more and more firms to be willing to engage in non-protocol recruiting.
Once a non-protocol advisor successfully moves to a protocol firm or independent platform, then other future options and strategies are more easily accomplished. The first step is getting out of a non-protocol firm successfully. After this, it is much easier to then pivot to other models if there is the desire to do so.
Until non-protocol recruiting becomes commonplace again, as it used to be before the establishment of protocol 13 years ago, UBS and Morgan Stanley advisors should take a cautious approach in evaluating any firm/platform they are considering joining.
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