We recently hosted a webinar titled: Best Practices in Working With Your Third-Party Broker-Dealer. This webinar explored how bank and credit union investment services programs can get the most out of their third-party broker-dealer partnership. Terrapin Technologies President, Kristefor Lysne, moderated the discussion and was joined by:

  • Brian Lauer, Partner at Messick Lauer & Smith P.C.
  • Dave Renko, EVP, Program Manager at WoodForest Wealth Strategies
  • Tom Mitchell, Senior Vice President at OneAZ Wealth Management
  • Holly Grellier, VP of Operations at Addison Avenue Investment Services
  • Warren Bausert, Program Manager at Sterling National Bank

Our panel discussed the importance of embracing a partnership approach with the broker-dealer and shared strategies on how to align the resources of the broker-dealer with the goals of the investment program.

Here are the key takeaways.

Pulse Check

We like to open every webinar with the same “pulse check” poll. And then compare the current results with the webinar in the previous quarter. We ask the question, “Presently, are you ahead, at, or below your year-to-date revenue goals?” It’s good to see that the majority are off to a good start for the year based on the responses. Let’s hope this trend continues!

webinar poll pulse check

More than a Vendor

We discussed the relationship dynamic between the financial institution and the broker-dealer, specifically the difference between a partner and a vendor. Every panelist agreed on the importance of viewing and treating their broker-dealer relationship as a true partnership. The conversation centered on why this is important and how do you make this happen.

In general, we typically view our vendors as service or product providers — such as they host our data center or provide statements or that’s our CRM system. But in order to make the most out of the relationship with your third-party broker-dealer, it’s vital to understand that they are woven into everything that you do and that it’s a true partnership. They are doing all aspects of your business — they are client-facing, advisor-facing, leadership-facing. A partnership is a commitment to growth.

Communication and Culture

Open and frequent communication with your broker-dealer is essential. Scheduling standing, recurring meetings will help you stay in touch and foster a collaborative relationship. Leverage your key contact at your broker-dealer as they are there to help your program be successful, and they can also help you connect you to the right people and teams.

Another important aspect to keep in mind is that many leads typically come from your branch. If the branch views your broker-dealer merely as a vendor, they’re going to be less likely to pass along good leads. Instead, a partnership approach will make things a lot more successful. Establish and foster an expectation that the broker-dealer is to be treated as a vital partner and plays a critical role in the institution’s overall success

Managed vs. Dual

We conducted a two-part poll during the webinar on networking arrangement types and whether any firms were considering making changes. It is interesting to see that none of the firms are considering moving from managed to dual employee, yet a few firms are considering moving from dual employee to managed.

webinar poll networking arrangement type
webinar poll managed vs. dual

Aligning Goals and Leveraging Resources

How do you align the resources of the broker-dealer with the goals of your program? This is an important question to ponder because financial institutions have an overarching strategy. The institution has a set amount of goals, particularly concerning growth rate for the year, and there are expectations established for the investment program. As you look at what the financial institution is doing and how to align your division with those goals, you also look at your own business goals to determine where you want to be five years from now. This is where you ought to consider the resources available from your broker-dealer that can help support your goals. Ask your broker-dealer for their roadmap to identify resources that can help support your same initiatives. 

Third-Party Broker-Dealer Resources

We conducted a final webinar poll asking, “What services from your broker-dealer do you find most valuable?” Technology Platform was unanimously rated as the most valuable service. Investment Products came in second, and Client Experience and Industry research tied for third. Interestingly Customer Service, Marketing, and Transition Support all tied for least valuable.

third-party broker-dealer services

Wrap Up

If you weren’t able to attend but would like to view the recording, you can sign up to watch the recording by clicking below.