Tag: growth

Great Valley Advisor Group Adds Gaines Financial Group

The $825M Florida RIA joins GVA to leverage its advisor network and robust technology offerings

Berwyn, Pa. — Feb. 3, 2022 — Great Valley Advisor Group (“GVA”), a technology-driven, full-service registered investment adviser (“RIA”), is thrilled to announce that Gaines Financial Group (“GFG”) has joined its growing pool of advisors. GVA partners with select independent financial advisors to support their growth and provide access to superior practice management and business strategy resources. The Boca Raton, Florida-based RIA will take full advantage of GVA’s vast array of offerings and will continue to service clients under the name Gaines Financial Group.

GFG is an independent wealth management firm that provides comprehensive asset management services and offers personalized estate planning, retirement planning, risk management and more. Founded in 1996 by Patrick “Rick” Gaines, GFG has grown to $825 million in assets under management. GFG aligned with GVA because of its broad spectrum of back-end offerings, thus allowing their advisors more time to address client needs.

“We are excited about the partnership with Gaines Financial Group and look forward to welcoming their advisors into our existing network,” said GVA Chief Operating Officer James J. Spinelli. “GVA has been proactive and thoughtful in our growth, and goal of expanding nationally, with a specific focus on Florida. Rick and his team are the perfect fit to build on this objective, and they have done a fantastic job of building a presence in the local community. We want to boost their successes while providing additional opportunities for those advisors and their clients.”

“Our team conducted a thorough search for the right platform and partner that would most benefit our clients and firm,” added Gaines. “GVA emerged as the clear leader and best positioned us to grow. We are eager to leverage GVA’s additional technology offerings and support, and we feel our advisors will truly benefit from this partnership. We look forward to tapping into all of GVA’s offerings and networking opportunities and expect to see further growth and success in the coming year.”

Partnering with GVA offers advisors the unique opportunity to maintain their independence and name, while providing access to GVA services and expansive advisor network. With a centralized focus on helping financial advisors grow and achieve long-term independence in their businesses, GVA provides customized and integrated technology tools, comprehensive compliance oversight, back-office services, asset management, succession solutions, and proprietary advisor billing and compensation software. Advisors can affiliate with GVA by joining the RIA, utilizing its Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction (OSJ), or via a hybrid model. The GVA advisor network includes 40 offices across the country, which collectively manage over $5 billion across its advisory and brokerage businesses.

“We strive to make the lives of advisors easier by providing comprehensive support and resources, giving them back a significant amount of their time to foster current client relationships and form new ones,” Spinelli explained. “Our offerings take the burden of behind-the-scenes operations off the advisors’ plate and ensure that everything is running smoothly without them having to worry. We look forward to seeing the heights that the GFG advisor team can reach with our firm’s support.”

The acquisition closed on Dec. 31, 2021. The firm will maintain its GFG branding and Boca Raton headquarters.

About Great Valley Advisor Group

Great Valley Advisor Group (“GVA”) is a technology-driven full-service registered investment adviser. GVA partners with select independent financial advisors by providing customized technology, investment strategies, compliance, and proprietary compensation tools to help them grow their businesses. Our advisors have the choice and flexibility to run their businesses the way they want. GVA provides advisors with support to get started and technology to help the firm thrive.

For more information, visit greatvalleyadvisors.com.

Media Contact

Marissa Foy Comerford

Gregory FCA for Great Valley Advisor Group

Marissa@GregoryFCA.com

610-228-2014

How the EOS Model and Predictive Index Can Enhance Your Practice and Self-Awareness

For many independent advisors, as well as other entrepreneurs, the most challenging aspects of day-to-day work are keeping their business running and team working efficiently. Many business owners work long hours without strong returns on their investment of time and money. Some common challenges for entrepreneurs include a lack of control, people who don’t listen or follow through, lack of growth and profit, and a struggle to find long-lasting fixes to recurring problems.

At Great Valley Advisor Group’s Valley Advisor Summit (VAST) last month in Austin, Texas, a few of our sessions focused on practice management and how to make your business as efficient and successful as possible. If you feel like you’re working hard and focusing intently on your business but still not achieving the growth you’d like, then it may be time to take a step back and look at your operations more critically.

EOS Model

The Entrepreneurial Operating System Model is a methodology that can help you and your team simplify, clarify and achieve business goals by highlighting six key components:

  • Vision: The vision for your business is what keeps you and all members of your team aligned and working synergistically toward a common goal.
  • People: A business is only as strong as its people; but as a business leader, you need to define the standards for your team.
  • Data: Determine your specific objectives and how to measure them in order to maintain a constant pulse on the performance of your business.
  • Issues: Identify, discuss and permanently solve the issues your business faces so you’re not trying to solve the same problems over and over, enabling you to focus on new challenges.
  • Process: “Systemize” your operations by identifying the core processes that run and define your business — this is your secret ingredient.
  • Traction: Ensure discipline and accountability are part of your business and enforce your vision.

By focusing on these six aspects, business owners can eliminate systemic issues, tackle bigger challenges and achieve further growth. Efficient practice management is key to successfully running a business. EOS Worldwide offers many free tools to help you and your leadership team brainstorm to set goals and define these components, which will help your business excel. It’s important to meet regularly with your leadership team to assess the strides made thus far, challenges you still face and goals you want to achieve in the short term as well as long term.

Predictive Index

A strong leadership team requires leaders who are self-aware, knowing their strengths and weaknesses. To this end, the VAST conference offered GVA advisors an opportunity to learn from the Predictive Index, a quick online assessment meant to improve self-awareness, employee development, onboarding, team performance and overall business success.

The PI assessment measures a person’s level of dominance, extraversion, patience and formality, as well as how predictable their actions within each of these traits are. The results place the entrepreneur in one of 17 categories that outline their personality traits, including what works well in a business/team setting and what doesn’t.

Those profiles are split into four categories: analytical, social, stabilizing and persistent. Each profile details needs, behaviors and signature work styles to help business owners understand how their actions affect their team and which work environments they excel in. This customized insight can be a game changer in how you run your business and communicate with your team.

As an advisor or business owner, you need to know that the time and money you invest will help achieve your goals and vision. Leveraging the EOS methodology and tools like the Predictive Index can help your business become healthier and more efficient, leading to accelerated growth and success. In turn, your time at work can be more productive, allowing for more personal time and a happier, better balanced life.

GVA Valley Advisor Summit (VAST): Key Takeaways to Better Your Business

Last month, Great Valley Advisor Group held the Valley Advisor Summit (VAST) in Austin, Texas, for our network of advisors to connect and explore innovative ways to better their businesses. VAST was designed to support advisors by providing seminars and roundtable discussions, each focused on educating attendees about trends in the industry and how to improve their operations.

Staged at Hotel ZaZa in the heart of downtown, VAST also included a brewery tour so attendees could enjoy some great local beers while networking. Though the tour earned high marks, many advisors noted the education provided at the conference was their favorite part of VAST. In fact, advisors were so engaged during the presentations that many felt hesitant to leave the room because they didn’t want to miss anything important.

“An amazing job — the conference was not just fun, but incredibly useful,” said attendee Ann Alsina, CFP, CPWA, from CovingtonAlsina in Annapolis, Maryland.

“It was a wonderful and valuable time,” added attendee Robert Schmauk of Doylestown Wealth Management in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

The educational component of VAST included four presentations, detailed below:

The EOS Model

Presenter Brian White, a certified EOS implementer, noted that advisors are often so involved in their business, it’s hard for them to look objectively at what’s working. An efficient, strong business requires a clearly defined vision. When an attendee asked White about the difference between a “business message” and core value, he answered that a business message is for marketing materials, but core values are what define your internal culture.

Passion and vision alone aren’t enough to make a good business, White added. A functional and aligned team is also necessary. To optimize your business, you should ask yourself pertinent questions such as: 1) “What is the thing your business does better every time it’s done?” 2) “What recharges you emotionally?” 3) “What recharges your piggy bank?” and 4) “Why does your business exist?”

The After-Tax Advisor and Working With the Wealthy

Sponsored by Eaton Vance and presented by Dave Gordon, CFA, CPWA, from the Eaton Vance Advisor Institute, this session outlined six stressors for the wealthy that advisors should keep in mind when building their financial plan:

  1. Affluent clients need their risk and return expectations to at least be met, if not exceeded.
  2. Leveraging and optimizing tax relief is another important consideration. Taxes can be the easiest “fee” to reduce. Questions that might be helpful conversation starters with clients include: “What do you think detracts more from investment performance: fees or taxes?” and “If you received a large tax refund, would you be more likely to spend it or invest it?”
  3. Concentrated exposure is also a risk for the wealthy, especially when clients feel overconfident about their ability to pick stocks. Advisors need to handle these conversations carefully, keeping aware of the emotional aspect involved.
  4. Another emotionally charged stressor for many affluent clients is their legacy and what will happen to their wealth after they’re gone.
  5. Retirement income represents an additional concern. Determining how to replace W-2 income, especially given the lower-than-inflation yield of the 10-year bond, is a challenge advisors need to address.
  6. Finally, many wealthy clients have non-qualified stock options through their companies, and may have questions about when would be best to exercise them.

The Predictive Index

This interactive session led by Steve Hopkins, VP of client development at FS Investments, taught advisors more about their leadership style, self-perception, strengths and weaknesses. The predictive index (PI) is a five-minute assessment taken by advisors that assigns them one of 17 different profiles, which are split into four categories: analytical, social, stabilizing and persistent.

The PI is meant to objectively identify your core operating style. Having this knowledge helps advisors reach the next level in running their business by improving aspects such as hiring, onboarding, speed of success, self-awareness, employee development and team performance. There are four traits that factor into workplace behavior: dominance, extraversion, patience and formality. When advisors understand their unique mix of these traits and the impact of them on other people, they’re better equipped to lead their businesses.

Overall, VAST was a resounding success, proving larger events are not always better, and that a smaller setting packed with good information and good people can be much more impactful. GVA is thankful we were able to gather with some of our top-notch advisors to learn, connect and grow together as a team, and we look forward to even greater success in 2022 and beyond.

 

**Brian White, Eaton Vance, & FS investments are not affiliated with LPL Financial.

Disrupting the Routine: Change is the Best Way to Grow Your Business

Driving change or creating disruption in your firm can be challenging, but we would argue it is one of the best ways to spur significant growth. Disruption forces you out of your comfort zone and requires you to do things differently, which can open doors to new opportunities.

Change for many RIA firms often comes in the form of M&A activity — both as buyer and seller. The third quarter of 2021 hit a record number of deals and the industry is on pace for yet another record-setting year. Although pursuing M&A may seem daunting, it can help firms rapidly achieve growth that would take years to realize on their own.

Realizing the benefits of disruption are daunting, and it is something our team discusses with advisors across the GVA network and beyond every day. Here’s what we tell them:

Change goes both ways

M&A has the potential to benefit both the buyer and seller in regard to resources and talent. In many situations, the acquiring firm has more dynamic platforms and tools that can be leveraged by the acquired firm to advance their business. However, we’ve also seen situations where the acquired firm had access to a technological resource that the acquiring firm previously didn’t, and was able to start utilizing thanks to the transaction.

When advisors partner with GVA, they gain access to both a wide variety of resources and an expansive network of fellow advisors. In turn, we welcome fantastic new talent who bring different skills and expertise that can benefit both our leadership team and advisor network. When there is chemistry between the buyer and seller, M&A can be a win-win situation for all involved.

Deciding when to make a change

At GVA, there are two transaction scenarios we often encounter. The first is an advisor who wants to disrupt their entire practice to partner with a firm like GVA for added resources and scale. They are taking a chance because they think it’s the best move for their business over the long-term. The second situation is when an advisor decides they want to sell their business or hire a junior advisor in order to build a succession plan. These individuals are seeking a true succession plan, while looking to safeguard their legacy and their clients’ experience.

In both scenarios, there is always a compelling reason that triggers the decision. Owners of financial advisory firms do not lightly decide to sell their business or merge with a new partner. These are huge changes that must be approached with proper deliberation.

At GVA, we always ask advisors who are considering some form of M&A, “What’s the reason for this decision?” Advisors looking to partner with another firm often want to leverage the buyer’s resources and platform to grow their business and enjoy more support. Advisors seeking to build a succession plan, especially those who are reaching retirement age, typically want to enjoy life experiences that they can’t while managing a $150 million to $200 million book. For instance, they may want to travel more or spend increased time with their families. We ask this pointed question to ensure our motivations, outlook and philosophies align from day one so we can build a successful partnership.

Addressing the emotional aspect

For many small business owners, the decision to sell their practice is an emotional one. Accordingly, the buyer should understand and respect the emotions driving the decision. As a seller, it’s important that you feel a connection to and synergy with the buyer. The primary focus isn’t necessarily on how much money you can get for the business or any other individual benefits the sale might yield.

The decision should also be rooted in what will be best for the business’s growth and your employees.

Ask yourself what the structure will look like for your clients and the team. For your clients, will they work well with the potential acquiring firm, and will they enjoy new resources as a result of the transition? For your employees, will there be more opportunities for growth than are available to them now? It’s crucial that the acquiring firm will not only be able to handle your business, but also offer your clients and employees greater advantages.

Calculate the risk

At GVA, we sit down to calculate risk with every advisor who is considering partnering with us. We’ll talk through various scenarios to ensure their vision for their firm’s future and their growth goals align with what GVA can offer. This requires extreme transparency, and may entail telling advisors that their expectations aren’t realistic or perhaps we aren’t the best fit. But in the end, it allows the advisor to decide what is best for them.

M&A can help firms reach their goals and achieve growth that might be very difficult to attain organically. However, a successful merger or acquisition depends on aligned visions and synergy between partners.

For more insight on the M&A process and opportunities for advisors within our network, schedule a call with us. Connect with us on LinkedIn and Facebook for our latest insights and team updates.

Get to Know the CEO: GVA’s Ryan Todd on Why Empowering Advisor Growth is Key to Success

Throughout the past two years, the pandemic has slowed down or completely halted many businesses. Yet, the RIA industry has seen a surge in interest and growth which has exceeded many RIA leaders’ expectations. With growth expected to extend well into the next year, future-looking leaders stand ready to tackle the next challenge and solve the next problem.

At GVA, CEO Ryan Todd leads the way for new and innovative ideas to keep the firm on the leading edge of the RIA industry and positioned as an attractive partner for growth-oriented advisors. His passion for the financial services industry was sparked at a very young age, watching his father grow his CPA practice, and has only grown with time. Ryan was inspired to launch GVA in response to a significant gap that he saw in the RIA industry. Instead of finding workarounds like many other people would do, Ryan started from ground up, building a business that could effectively solve problems for advisors everywhere.

His passion remains strong, and he has a steadfast approach to propelling advisors ahead in their career paths through personalized advice from his own life experiences and through a hands-on approach to integrating the tools that they will need along the way. We recently spoke with Ryan about how he brings the GVA mission to life every day, the impact he’s made on countless advisor practices and his goals for the future. Here’s more from our conversation:

What is your leadership style at GVA and why is this perspective so beneficial to GVA advisors?

We run an open-architecture style business here at GVA. COO James Spinelli and I are behind the scenes working day and night to build the GVA brand and improve the offerings for advisors, while advisors work independently to run their businesses however they think is best. This approach empowers advisors and allows individuality and creativity to flow throughout GVA.

Importantly, though, the behind the scenes work that we do at a management level is very comprehensive and critical to our larger mission. In our industry, every RIA is seeking growth by adding new advisors, and along the way are making promises of ways they can help advisors grow their practices. Unfortunately, not many RIAs actually live up to the promises they make and instead, offer the bare minimum to advisors. James and I work as a team to come up with new and innovative ideas that will make a difference in the lives and practices of our advisors. At GVA, we are committed to delivering on the promises we make, and this truly sets us apart.

How does your past life and professional experience influence your approach to leading GVA?

I started out in the industry by buying my father’s CPA business from him. While the initial focus was on the accounting and tax side of things, many of my clients in that business were looking for financial planning advice, too. Instead of sending them out the door to seek that advice elsewhere, I decided to go out and obtain the credentials needed to service them myself. This is why I became a CPA. From there, I built out the business and it started me on the path to where I am today.

GVA has been strategically designed from day one. There was a major gap in the industry that James and I were looking to fill. Advisors would go to their RIA and ask them for advice and ideas to grow the business or better service clients. They would get the ideas, but then it would be up to them to implement those ideas. We are hands-on, diving into advisors’ challenges and practice management concerns. We not only will offer thoughts and ideas, but we will actually put those words into action alongside you.

You have founded other successful businesses in the past. How does your past entrepreneurial experience relate to your current day-to-day?

I’m known among my friends as a serial entrepreneur; I have started businesses and failed and started again. If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that things don’t always go as planned. I work with many advisors who are successfully running their businesses and others who have failed just like I have in the past. I like to offer complete transparency with our advisors when it comes to mistakes they might be making or areas where they could improve their business. My past mistakes were all learning opportunities that help me better direct our advisors. This personal experience really means a lot to GVA advisors and they value my honesty and frankness. The fact that James and I have both been in their shoes, gives our advisors confidence and legitimizes what we offer to advisors here at GVA.

How did your experience as an advisor inspire you to design GVA in the way that it serves advisors first?

When James and I started in this industry 13 years ago, the landscape was significantly different. The industry has evolved and advisors are looking for different things now than they did back then. GVA understands that needs, demands and objectives change rapidly and we are well-positioned to evolve with advisors.

In the beginning, I never would have thought that technology would play such a large role in this business, but here we are now and technology is the cornerstone of the entire industry. One of the best and more recent examples of this is social media. Many advisors come to us and tell us that they are very interested in social media and growing their business that way. Although this is not the way that I did things or one of my personal focuses, I still have to have an understanding of the value of social media in spreading word, building a brand and creating an identity.

Being in the industry for as long as I have has given me this ability to see things from another perspective and be nimble enough to change with the times. You can never be too humble as a leader in this industry – it is crucial to be open and accepting to change and equipped to navigate anything new that comes our way.

Where do you look for advice, inspiration and insight in your career?

There are two people in my life who offer me two different perspectives, both of which value greatly.

The first is my wife. I turn to her and tell her what I am going through or a situation I am trying to navigate and she offers me a third party viewpoint from someone who is not in the industry. She’s not afraid to call me out and let me know when I am wrong. Her unfiltered advice truly drives many of the decisions that I make.

Another source of inspiration for me is my father. When I was a kid, my eight siblings and I had no idea how much work my dad put into his business on a daily basis. He managed to come to every single baseball game, every family dinner and be there for all eight of us, while working as hard as he did. What we didn’t realize is that he went back to work at 9 p.m. every night once we all were in bed. I was 10 years old when I told my dad that I wanted to take over his business; his response was that I didn’t work hard enough to run a business. His take surprised me and he offered advice that remains with me today: “the only way to do it, is to do it.” This became my mantra. From that point on, my grades went up and stayed up. In college I never skipped class like many friends and roommates did, and I pushed myself every day to put in the work that my father did.

I strive to be as hardworking as my father is, while still dedicated time and energy to my family. Every night at 9 p.m. when my kids are in bed, I follow in my father’s footsteps back to the office to put more work in. To this day, I often quote exact phrases that he has said to me to our GVA advisors. My dad continues to be a part of it through the advice that I live by and pass along to other advisors.

When the idea of GVA came to fruition, I was scared. I remember texting James saying that I had an idea and after discussing it, James quit his job and we started working to bring that dream to life. Both of us were lucky enough to witness our dads building businesses from the ground up as kids, which gave us more confidence knowing that it could be done if we put the work in and remained dedicated.

Lastly, another source of inspiration for me is running. I run every day to clear my head. After a good long run, I feel like I just solved all of the world’s problems in 60 minutes.

What do you feel is the most important thing for advisors to learn about GVA as they are getting to know you?

From where we were in 2014 to where we are now, I truly believe that we can match up to any of the larger RIAs in the industry. Our close relationships and family atmosphere exceed what could be expected at a larger firm and we have the same offerings, plus the ability to implement them ourselves for advisors. There is no micromanaging in the GVA atmosphere and all advisors are free to run their businesses how they see fit.

We are committed to growing this company and making it thes best advisor experience possible. Anyone who joins us in this journey is treated as their own entrepreneur. We offer the help, technology and support but allow advisors to choose what they want to participate in and come to the table with any other needs they might have. Advisors at GVA are constantly building on this open-architecture platform and adding to their offerings through GVA.

At GVA, we are a community that lifts each other up. We equip our advisors with the tools and technologies that they need to succeed and watch them grow. We truly believe that this is the philosophy that allows for the most long-term success and look forward to continuing to add to our offerings for our team and pushing them even further along in their personal journey.

For more insight on the GVA culture, leadership philosophy and opportunities for advisors within our network, schedule a call with us. Connect with us on LinkedIn and Facebook for our latest insights and team updates.

Strength in Members: How a Well-Curated Advisor Network Drives Growth and Empowers Advisors in Today’s Environment

Advisors’ worlds have been completely revolutionized within the past two years, as they’ve navigated shifting terrain in the regulatory landscape, managed a transition to remote work and subsequent return to the office, and faced mounting pressure from clients concerned about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

These changes have prompted many advisors to reevaluate their businesses and approach to the profession, especially regarding where they seek support. Many advisors are turning to advisor networks ― groups of like-minded advisors coming together to achieve a common goal ― in their pursuit of ongoing business growth and personal development.

Great Valley Advisor Group (GVA) is anchored by a culture of connectivity most readily seen through our advisor network. We have thoughtfully designed a model that allows our advisors to operate independently while still being part of a larger team, surrounded by the knowledge and insight of other advisors. As advisors look to the future and seek avenues for continued growth, aligning with a network presents an appealing opportunity.

Cornerstones of the GVA Advisor Network

GVA’s strategically designed, well-curated advisor network drives success and provides a supportive and productive community for members, based on four cornerstones:

  1. Transparency with our partners: We pride ourselves on our commitment to communication with advisors. This means initiating an open dialogue and maintaining candid conversations around what is or isn’t working, where specifically they need more support and how our team can do more to propel their success. These conversations must be frank, and rely on our leaders and advisors coming together, but the resulting transparency and corresponding experience are unmatched.
  1. Facilitating strong advisor relationships: The strength of the GVA network doesn’t come from the top, but from within. We look to our advisors, themselves, to help advance the network as a whole by engaging with fellow advisors, learning from one another and sharing experiences and advice along the way. Advisors who join the GVA network need to be willing to have these types of conversations, and those who engage at this level truly flourish.
  1. Making a consistent and considerable investment in tools: GVA’s business model is built on a foundation of technology and innovation. From day one, our leadership team recognized the importance of implementing strong technology systems, as well as comprehensive tools and resources, and the impact this makes on advancing an advisor’s practice. GVA network advisors gain immediate access to our dynamic technology stack and robust solutions to support their growth.
  1. Providing ongoing support aimed at advisor practice growth: Our work with advisors extends well beyond technology and related tools. We identify their areas of need and how they want to grow, and then implement targeted support and solutions. Our M&A team is a great example of this philosophy in action. Our advisors are entrepreneurs who seek to grow their businesses, and the M&A team offers a clear path forward for such inorganic growth, providing insight on the acquisition process, preparing relevant documentation and information, reviewing deals and more.


A Near- and Long-Term Plan for Growth

The strength of the GVA network lies in our ability to consistently adapt to the changing environment. Our primary goal is to empower advisor growth, and we feel strongly that a well-curated network of advisors is the best way to do that.

Advisors who join our network realize immediate benefits, coupled with longer-term advantages. The network provides a centralized platform yielding high levels of efficiency that advisors cannot leverage elsewhere. The suite of technology and resources they need to create an immediate impact on the business and streamline operations are available at their fingertips.

From a broader perspective, the network’s focus is strengthening our partnerships with advisors and creating the connectivity they need to thrive. We provide resources and the advisors offer insight, innovation and growth to the platform. We strive to continue enhancing our offerings to advisors within the network and realize that both parties add structure as we grow. We select advisors who are innovative in nature and maintain a similar philosophy and outlook on the business landscape.

The feature we plan to implement in the near future is small advisor forums within the larger network, creating connections among advisors facing common challenges or seeking to uncover similar opportunities within their businesses. We are using these as a springboard for stronger relationships within the network and to share valuable insights into where our advisors are taking their practices, so we can add new solutions and services.

Finding Your Network Match

For growth-oriented advisors, finding the right network to align with can make a significant impact on your business. The right network partner is one that shares your values and communication style but celebrates diversity among its community. Diversity in opinion, focus and life experiences will drive a stronger network and add significantly more value for the advisors.

Every advisor who joins the GVA network shares our larger vision and goals for the future. The growth of the company is only as strong as its core, and our advisors are the core of everything we do.

For more insight on GVA and the power our network provides to advisors, schedule a call with us. Connect with us on LinkedIn and Facebook for our latest insights and team updates.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Stack – GVA’s Simple Steps to Growth Through Technology

Technology continues to dominate the conversation around advisor growth strategies, and the ability to leverage it as a growth tool remains an important focus for the future. Technology is my passion, and I have always been keenly focused on its role in helping businesses grow and adapt, as well as its ability to revolutionize how we approach our daily lives.

This has become even more apparent within the last year, as more advisors shifted to remote work and more firms were forced to invest in tech to keep business activities consistent. In fact, the TD Ameritrade RIA Sentiment Survey found that RIAs were investing more in technology than planned because of the pandemic, with 33% of firms upgrading tech capabilities because of the shifting workplace needs.

The last year has opened advisors’ eyes to the role technology plays in their practice and its ability to amplify impact or harness growth. Here at GVA, we have always placed a high priority on technology, leveraging it to improve how we work as a team and with the advisors aligned with us. This focus has been instrumental in our growth and ability to partner with advisors from across the country.

Technology is non-negotiable for sustained growth

While advisors know they must embrace technology in today’s world, it can be difficult to know where to start. I recommend assessing your current tech stack and examining what is working, what is being actively utilized by the team and how your practice is benefiting.

Once you have an idea of your baseline, you can begin shopping for other technology assets. There are two silos of technology: 1) tech you need and 2) tech that can help grow your business. The first category includes the basics, like your custodial platform, CRM system and other specific tools — the technology that helps you run your business efficiently. The second category involves the technology you need to grow and that empowers you to focus on specialties — the tech that gives you the “disruption factor” that will create real change.

Technology should allow you to streamline tasks, establish workflows and work smarter. When used correctly, technology can propel your practice to new heights. If your current technology package is not meeting these goals, it may be time to reevaluate how you are implementing tech into your work.

Leveraging technology for our advisors via open architecture

GVA is 100% technology-driven. We have put a very robust technology structure in place with elements that support growth. We have partnered with Align Cybersecurity to design cybersecurity policies and procedures. We offer Valor Asset Management, a comprehensive and technology-supported asset management platform; as well as AdvisorBOB, our dynamic advisor compensation software. We have worked to customize Salesforce for our team’s benefit, with specialized workflows, processes, automation and more to streamline activities and allow more time for business-building efforts. We are currently building our GVA Gateway, which will function as an intranet for our advisors to connect, share ideas and collaborate, as well as a centralized portal with the resources and tools they need to succeed.

We feel confident that we have the right tools and resources in place, and we have designed an open-architecture structure with our technology, allowing firms who align with us to opt to continue using their preferred technology platforms after joining us. They will gain access to our suite of solutions but it is up to them whether or not they use it. We view this is an excellent opportunity for our advisors to leverage what we have built to whatever extent they desire.

How technology has revolutionized GVA’s approach

Our focus on technology has been intentional and supports our larger approach to working with advisors. Our goal is to help advisors up-level their practices, as well as provide them with the tools and resources they need to grow their firms and meet their long-term objectives.

The technology we have in place is attractive to our advisor partners, but also allows us to collaborate with them in a better and more meaningful way, effectively elevating the conversation from surface-level to an in-depth and actionable discussion. We can quickly view and publish reports and benchmarks against similar advisors, and we have more visibility into our partners’ businesses so we can understand their challenges and trends. This allows us to explore challenges and create solutions in real time, connect them with other advisors who have faced similar challenges and collaborate in a way that makes everyone better. My colleagues and I can give real advice, outlining specific tools that will work for you and more. We are solely focused on helping you grow your business.

As technology becomes more central to our lives, it’s impossible to ignore the implications it can have on your practice. Technology is nothing if you don’t have anyone using it — and doing so to its full potential. We view it as one of the best tools available to meeting your short- and long-term goals and facilitating meaningful connections. For more insight on the technology we employ to improve workflows and empower advisor growth, and how we can help you leverage technology to grow your practice, schedule a call with us. Connect with us on LinkedIn and Facebook for our latest insights and team updates.