Ask a few seasoned financial planners whether they’re worried about recruiting and some will tell you they’ve already found a decent professional, who’s even worthy enough to be their successor. 

Yes, there are advisors who say they have an answer to one of the industry’s most pressing demands. 

How? They do the recruiting themselves, and often at the local level where they find young candidates who are the right fits for their practices. Sometimes this is a candidate effective enough to ensure the practice has a second life as the senior advisor retires. 

Senior Editor Andrew Welsch writes about these junior and senior pairings in this month’s cover story, starting off with Emily Phillips, who initially dismissed Donna Drosner’s advisory work as boring. That’s not the kind of reaction one wants from someone you would consider a potential recruit.

However Drosner, a Baird advisor, took notice of Phillips. She was a millennial, and was working for a consulting firm. “I told [Drosner] I essentially sit down with large companies and figure out what their pain points are and how we can find solutions,” Phillips tells Welsch.

What Drosner heard was a potential candidate for her practice. The partnership that emerged has given her a trusted colleague and a plan for the future. The goal for these junior-senior partnerships becomes a seamless continuation of the practice that helps to see it thrive long after a senior advisor’s retirement. That’s the promise advisors want to make to their clients before they step down.

Industry training and so-called matchmaking programs that pair up junior and senior advisors are no doubt a big help. And, as Welsch points out, some senior advisors have luck plucking a junior advisor from their branch. 

Ultimately, the senior advisor knows who will make the right fit. And serving as their own recruiter has paid off in finding candidates with potential for handling both the monetary and client-relationship sides of the business. 

Read on about Drosner, Phillips and other junior-senior partnerships, as well as the approaches advisors use for forming those partnerships. Their strategies include the use of incentives, spelling-out expectations and delineating the roles of recruits coming in to build a practice. The goal for many is to land a young, promising wealth manager with the same command for working with clients shown by the owner who recruits them.

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