As we finish this issue of On Wall Street, we are watching the parent companies of the wealth management firms that we cover announce their earnings. What strikes me is how well the markets are doing, and yet for some parts of our industry and the economy, times aren't so rosydespite it being four years after the financial crisis.
More important, the presidential election will be decided around the time that this issue gets into your mailboxes and whether we keep the incumbent or usher in the challenger, I am hoping that the economy takes off for everyone, even if we are teetering on the edge of the fiscal cliff.
However, some uncertainty will be taken out of the equation once the nation has decided on who will be the next chief executive of the United States. The issues that face you as financial advisors won't change dramatically. We realize that, so this month we are taking a practical view of your world.
In our cover story we take a peek inside Credit Suisse's Private Banking Americas business and its leader Anthony DeChellis. In an extensive interview with him and some of the advisors he has recruited, Managing Editor Lorie Konish offers you insight into plans to expand the advisor force and the footprint of this high-end shop with a boutique feel.
Our resident commentator on corporate culture, Bill Willis, puts his recruiting experience to good use for you. In "You're Fired" he offers pragmatic tips on what to do when your firm lets you go under less than happy circumstances. It's a step-by-step guide for all advisors. Let's face it, whether it's a layoff or a full-fledged firing, protecting your reputation is critical. It takes a smart approach and a carefully constructed and knowledgeable team to help you survive a termination so that you actually survive. Willis, who runs his own recruiting firm out of southern California, brings his years of experience as a former advisor and branch manager to On Wall Street.
Also this month, Associate Editor Mason Braswell focuses on the trials and tribulations of opening new client accounts. Up-front in our Street Scene/Wealth Industry section, he cites two reports from Boston-based consulting firm Aite Group. In "Back Office Headaches," he points out that firms are losing clients, money and even their financial advisors to this technology nightmare. But this statistic from Aite is even more telling. Only 30% of wealth management firms surveyed view the account opening process as a factor that they can use to differentiate themselves from their competitors. This is surprising because the advisory business is like any other in which a competitive advantageespecially in the area of technologymeans the difference between profit and loss or, for that matter, basic survival. We are in changing times, evolving ever faster because of technological advances. Make no mistake: the firms that lag behind will suffer the same fate as the dinosaurs.
That said, we have other offerings this month as well. Alan Foxman, in his compliance column, also discusses transferring client accounts, offering legal guidance on steps to take to when it comes to record keeping.
We also focus on estate planning mistakes and their solutions. The Mutual Fund Focus column brings a global perspective, as an expert from Lipper discusses some top-performing funds in China. As always, I ask that you send us your opinions so we might better serve your needs.
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